Lucky for me, I have a teacher willing to try new things with his BLAST class. BLAST is a lot like AVID, the students are paired with mentors and the class is geared toward teamwork and problem-solving.
They’ve already been in the library for programming Sphero, so I thought it would be fun to program REAL THINGS like marshmallows and bananas. What better to do that with than Makey Makey ? Mr. S wanted the students to work together to complete some challenges and so the plan was to rotate from the Makey Makey station to the littleBits Design Challenge, and our brushbot challenge, but students ended up staying focused on completing one challenge in this class period. (Which means I need to have them back for more MAKING! )
This summer I had the privilege of writing lesson plans for Makey Makey, so I was excited to try the ELA Logic Puzzle Lesson with an active class. (I taught it at the public library this summer, but not at school yet!)
I love how simple this lesson seems to be on the surface, until the kids have to actually design the logic sequence. Students have to use real problem solving skills to make the game play logistical AND they learn coding terms all while making what appears to be a pretty simple game.
The last class giggled a lot, but really got into making shapes with the pen tool and recording sounds for the objects to make when you answered riddles correctly. I wish we had more time to make these games even more complex!
Teaching these classes was awesome! I hope to entice more teachers into incorporating coding into their curriculum, but for the rest of the week, I’ve decided on some passive programming incorporating a lot of things we already do in our library makerspace for our regular makers.
Students have the option to:
- Program Sphero or Ollie using the SPRK app and navigate these bots through a cardboard maze.
- I just downloaded the Kano OS ( THANK YOU OPEN SOURCE!) to our library Raspberry Pi and I LOVE IT! So students can come in and learn to code by creating their own version of Pong, Snake, and Minecraft. Or they can code their own art, or play the text-based adventure Terminal Quest.
- Creating any game for Makey Makey.
- Complete a tutorial on Code Academy.
- Program our Sparkfun Redbot using Codebender.cc.
So will they bite? Will high school students really come in and learn to code? A few visited while I was teaching BLAST and played with Kano and joined our Makey Makey fun. Others have already started asking for more books on programming languages. (Have any you’d recommend?) I hope to see even more students curious about coding this week (even though I’ll be teaching research classes during lunches.)
Can’t wait to see what the rest of the week holds!
Bonus: here is a remixable flyer in Canva of our activities if you want to remix it and use it!