Over the last weeks of term 2, we have had a lot of fun working on a Maths and coding project with Gawura as a trial. This is in preparation to run the program with all stage three and then with the middle school. Gawura stage three were the “trail blazers” for the project and their progression and work was impressive.One goal of the sessions is to embed coding and computational thinking into the curriculum in a way that reinforces the curriculum as well as building skills that are highly valued and important for today. The content we chose to work with was geometry and shapes and the mathematical concepts and reasoning by our stage three Gawura students has been impressive.

One goal of the sessions is to embed coding and computational thinking into the curriculum in a way that reinforces the curriculum as well as building skills that are highly valued and important for today. The content we chose to work with was geometry and shapes and the mathematical concepts and reasoning by our stage three Gawura students has been thorough.

Learning the Basics of Coding (with cool maths too!):

First up we explored some basics of coding along with Mr Dunseath as we explored and taught each other with a little guidance. We did this firstly in the library on the computers with Scratch and then we replicated the session as we found a way to do all this on our iPads using Tynker. We compared and contrasted the two platforms and found that we could do more with Tynker and it suited our needs better, especially as it works on all devices.

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Teaching each other how to code in Tynker

What we did over 2 lessons:

Explore: we initial explored by dragging blocks onto our stage and seeing what happened. We learned about control, movement,turning, sound and drawing.
Challenge 1a: Once we could draw, we then had the challenge to draw a square with code. This allowed us to talk of direction and turning.
Challenge 1b: we learned about “repeat” blocks to make our code more concise and to allow us to change values in fewer places to make our shape work.
Challenge 2a: draw an equilateral triangle. This was really interesting as the normal tendency was to change our angle from 90 to 60 but this did not work! We won’t spoil your trying by telling you the answer but will give more details when we have our first page for maths and code! (stay tuned)
Challenge 2b: Draw a hexagon (most students accidentally drew this while trying to do the triangle!!!)

Whoohooo! Nailed it!

Whoohooo! Nailed it!

Our learning and code drawing shapes

Our learning and code drawing shapes

Bigger challenge: See if you can work out a pattern to be able to draw a perfect pentagon. This took a little while but we were able to draw up a table and make a rule for any polygon.

AND THEN – Make and Program stuff!!!!

1. Makey Makey: So we had a lot of fun learning some coding and maths so then we made some stuff and programmed some stuff!!!

First up we learned about Makey Makey – which is a great little device for creating “inputs” and interaction. We learned about conductivity and circuits and then programmed with Tynker to make a piano on the floor.
We thought of heaps of great ideas for using Makey Makey and things we could build. Stay tuned for more but for now have a read of our Makey Makey page.

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Conductivity and our floor piano with Makey Makey

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Writing code and playing the homemade “keyboard”

2. Sphero: we learned that in Tynker we can also code devices like the sphero. This was pretty cool as we were able to program this little ball to move in the shapes that we had previously drawn on screen with code. It was pretty cool as we experimented with options to do more with the Sphero and it helped us to see some of what is going to be possible with our new found coding skills!! PS We will write more about Sphero and learning soon!

NEXT! Bring on Year 6!

Next up are sessions with all of year 6 and Gawura stage 3 are going to be the trainers and teachers for this in week 4 of term 3. We look forward to reporting back.