One of my students just told me, "You're just all robots all the time now are you? Other teachers are worried about report cards, but not you." Luckily, my report cards were finished because it gave me time to play with our robots.
We're very fortunate to have an innovative Science Facilitator, Lisa Lim-Cole, who believes kids should play with science hands-on, and we applied and were chosen to participate in a workshop which provided us with twelve Vex Robotics kits to utilize in our school and, man, has it been fun.
Since robotics and coding isn't directly stated in our curriculum, you have to find ways in, and there are many. One of the best ways, I've found is through the Design or Problem Solving Process which is one of the Big Ideas in our Science Curriculum.
We are using the kits in a couple different ways. Right now, we have grade 5s working with the kits for their Structures Unit, and the kits are also being used in Makerspace Mondays and over Reading Recesses. The recess programs have a more open format. Teams of threeare signing up to work with the kits and are exploring them independently.
What amazes me is how organically students create there own tasks and go through the Design/Problem-Solving Process. I loved watching their minds work. This is what I saw today:
First, they had to figure out how it worked.
This is when I realized what they were doing and asked them to re-do it and explain it. Prompting was needed for them to voice the process.
Then, they adapted the robot and tried again!
More testing, with another adaptation to the machine!
They were truly the design process in action. Next, I'm moving them on to the coding aspect to see what happens there.
Fun day at the library!
Thanks so much to the crew at TWT for providing us with this opportunity to write and share.
I'm not sure if any Americans celebrate this holiday, but up in Canada yesterday was Family Day!
Since the -30 weather kindly left, we bundled up for a day of skiing and snowboarding, but having five in the family means that sometimes someone has to bend a bit. We are skiing again with the school tonight too, so my youngest was not overjoyed with the choice of activity.
What to do? We'd already spent much of this bitter weekend indoors, so we packed up the Vex Robotics Kit he got for Christmas, and plunked him in the chalet with a lunch tray. My husband and I took turns skiing with two kids or building, and maybe writing a plan for a blog post in my Notebook, with William.
It was a great day with lots of breaks, fries, hot chocolate and laughs. That robot spider, after four hours? Still not done!
We’re in the midst of a kitchen renovation. It was more than time, and I approached it like a Genius Hour Project, with enthusiasm and I am learning a lot about renovations and myself. As we drag into the third week of continuous decisions and adaptations, I’ve realized my dependency on routine is very cat-like and, perhaps, I’m not at my best right now, but I’ve also realized that my cat’s happiness is dependent on my routines, and she’s not at her best either.
Who Am I?
I'm a Teacher Librarian and Grade 7 Language Teacher.
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