I created coding challenge cards thinking that learners would refer to them later (in reality they didn't.....they listened and then set to it. I'm still glad I created them as I explain each challenge choice at the start of the session so I referred to them. I will also add them to my 'challenge card' resource box so I have them to go back too later if I choose to repeat the session. I can also give them to teachers to replicate the session back in their own space). I created the double sided cards using PAGES on my Mac laptop.
Create and navigate BLUE BOT robots (this challenge started with the Story Stones and the gridded boards for learners to design and create a map on a smaller scale while considering 'upscaling' e.g. 1 square = 3 BLUE BOT moves, they then photographed it, then tested that the BLUE BOT could actually successfully complete the challenge. The plan is that during their next session they will create (with fabric paint) the map on a single white sheet and 'donate' it to a junior class so that they can navigate the BLUE BOTS (this could of course also be done back in class).
Navigate and Drive EV3 - I challenged learners to complete a task e.g. use the forks to pick up an object. Interestingly no one in either of the 2 sessions today chose this option. The EV3's were already built and I wondered if this was why? I'm going to get my 'Tech Team' to explore what else can be built with the kit and what they can add to the Robot to personalise it in a short timeframe.
Build and code LEGO Robotics - use the WeDO2 LEGO kits to build and code a machine/vehicle. This is proving to be a real challenge for our Year 5/6's but is doable for some within our short sessions. Although some students are gutted they can't complete the challenge in the timeframe I don't think it lessens the learning......in our new bigger Maker Space I need to explore if we can 'carry' challenges over until a next session (will we have enough materials for this?)
Dance with Dash - I expected learners to be able to construct an intricate course and programme DASH to complete it but in reality learners had little or no experience DASH (as they had previously lived in our Junior school) so those that chose this challenge completed the 'projects' via the Blockly app given them a really solid grounding on how DASH works.
Create a SPHERO challenge - this challenge was the most popular choice across both of todays classes. HUGELY messy and chaotic (thankfully no rain today so we were all outside) but sooooooo successful for collaboration, cooperation and problem solving! (check out the photos). Learners built courses out of junk construction materials and water troughs or containers then navigated the Sphero robots to complete their courses. This took several attempts to reposition ramps, make tunnels bugger, entry points more even or brigades more stable. I loved the directional language, the constant reflecting , refining and improving.
Complete challenges in SWIFT PLAYGROUNDS - our older iPad minis can't run SWIFT so I had a 'pod' of iPads in my space today with it installed. I love that learners immediately relate to BYTE (the SWIFT character) and they quickly negotiate their way through the 'learning to code challenges', learning basic coding principles as they go. I only wish it could be easier for our learners to negotiate the required reading (I fully understand that the programme is created for older learners - perfect for Year 7/8 but our learners have the capability just perhaps not the reading comprehension in some instances).
Two learners who had started an iPad art challenge "Things I have Drawn" during their last session chose to continue it, working tirelessly and independently to create gorgeous images from a 5 year olds hand drawing. Their next session they want to add 'shadowing and 3d effects'. Seethe image centre bottom row.