Session 2.1 2/4/2016 Encouraging Productive Struggles #PackinTrain #CodinginK

In preparation to teaching #PackInTrain I read Tony Wagner’s Creating Innovators as a way to understand how I might encourage your children to step outside of the known and start developing skills in the following areas:  curiosity, willing to experiment, perseverance, taking risks and learning to tolerate failure.  He stresses the following:

The essential elements of educating young people to become innovators:  the value of hands-on projects where students have to solve a real problem and demonstrate mastery; the importance of learning to draw on academic content from multiple disciplines to solve a problem; learning to work in teams.  pg.  52 Creating Innovators

This week we continued the Learning Objectives of:

  • I will learn vocabulary words that will help me program BeeBot
  • I will work with other students to problem solve BeeBot Challenges on the iPad and with the BeeBot
  • I will utilize positional language (forward/back/right turn/left turn) to communicate with my team and BeeBot

Vocabulary reviewed today included:

  • Sequence:  Commands that are executed by a computer
  • Command:  A specific instruction given to a computer in written code by a programmers.
  • Code:  The language written by humans to communicate with computers to complete a process; programming language that gives instructions to a computer.

Today we added a station to our rotations.

  • BeeBot App:  this app on our iPad gave teams opportunities to try using positional language to navigate the BeeBot through various challenges.  The app makes use of Bee-Bot’s keypad functionality and enables children to improve their skills in directional language and programming through sequences of forwards, backwards, left and right 90 degree turns.
  • BeeBot Floor Challenges:  Students will navigate the BeeBot through challenges that will include:
    • Number recognition and 1:1 correspondence
    • Shape/Color identification (navigate the BeeBot from purple triangle to the orange circle)
    • Letter/Sound Identification

Productive Struggles: This week I also used sentence starters and questioning techniques to support students solving problems on their own and with their peers instead of coming to the adult for the answer.  I have included these prompts below-please feel free to use at home.

  • Ask Two Before Me (at home this might mean having your child tell you the steps they have already done to complete the task and what happened)
  • Spend another two minutes trying
  • I noticed you are finding ways to figure out (insert what they are working on) have you (insert a comment-but not the answer).  I noticed that you are doing a great job using the right turn/left turn commands on the BeeBot worksheet-I wonder what would happen if you included a forward command.
  • I hear your frustration-you have worked really hard at this and I bet you are a little mad that the BeeBot isn’t going right where you want it to.  How about I set a timer for five minutes so you can take a break from this-rest your brain-and try again?

I will be sending home some BeeBot Challenges today for your child to explore at home. Feel free to use the prompts above and let me know if you find other ones that work.  The attached resource from the Search Institute could also provide some guidance on 7 Ways to Cultivate Students’ Problem-Solving Skills .

Remind:  Please sign up for remind I will be sending out notifications for blog updates through this tool starting next week.

Thank you again for your ongoing support of developing our innovation skills!

Mrs. Jessica Cabeen




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