Fall SAVY 2017, Day 5- Intro to Programming: Coding 101 (1st/2nd)
Dear SAVY Parents,
Our adventures in code class the past weeks have included a fun way to experience and debug algorithms. Whenever we transitioned between activities, I would “program” the students by giving them a list of tasks such as: log out of your website, push in your chair, walk to the back of the room, and present your exit ticket. It has been fun to observe that sometimes I would accidentally (or purposefully) leave out a step or sometimes the steps would be out of sequence. A safe amount of chaos would ensue resulting in a teachable moment about reviewing and previewing code. However in this week’s lesson, we returned to our thinking, feeling human selves to considering a lesson called, Digital Citizenship: Screen Out the Mean.
Your child may soon have opportunity to “publish” and share their projects on line with other student coders. You child has already had the opportunity to review and give feedback to class peers. In preparation, we talked very purposefully about the online world and cyber-bullying. The students did a great job in identifying situations where an individual might feel angry, sad, or scared based on the repeated actions of another to bring about intimidation or abuse power. What are the implications of our words in person? What are the implications of our words online? What steps can we take if we encounter cyber-bullying? We used a strategy called STOP and you can review and use this as well. Here is a link to that resource: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-uvt08wYSQqWnhrYXd5TF80VHM/view.
While still in the computer lab, the students we very inspired to use this topic in creating new projects that included characters, dialogue, and “events”. The will refine those next week to share with you during Open House! We hope you will come and see all that we have worked on!
After learning more fun facts about Grace Hopper (pioneering programmer), we transitioned into the classroom and outer hallways to work on Sphero projects. The students really had some nice practice at programming their robots in pairs (pair programming involves a navigator and driver) to make shapes like squares, rectangles, and triangles. The students used the robots’ sensor data to measure the side distances, record findings, and calculate the sum or perimeter in this carryover from last week. Why did the robots sometimes “round” corners? What scientific principles could be at play to explain why the robot wouldn’t (or couldn’t) make exact 90 degree turns? What strategies could be used to solve this problem for more accurate data collection? What would be the result if each corner was facilitated by a dead stop? Why does this matter to the performance of the robot?
Finally, the students experienced their first exposure to the application of the familiar blockly code (from the lab) as it could be applied to the Sphere devices. What new tasks can be accomplished with this interface format or language system in a new environment? We may find out the answer to this and much more in our final week! See you soon!