Teaching and Learning Resources from Diane Hawkins


Kent NGfL Robolab Project
2000 - 2001

 

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Teaching Strategies

With Year 6 (30 children), I taught the children as a class in our ICT suite, where we have 16 networked computers. The children worked in pairs to undertake the programming challenges on their own computer and then tested their program with an RCX brick and appropriate motors, lights and/or sensors, as appropriate, or with the model traffic lights.

The plus side of this approach was that all the children were involved, no-one was left out because their group was too big, they could bounce ideas off each other and generally learn together. On the other hand, whole class teaching is definitely not for the faint-hearted! I had four RCXs and towers available, which I rotated around the groups as they completed a programming sequence. My expectation was for the children to save their programs on completion and to move on to the next challenge until I could get to their group with a tower and RCX or model for them to test their program, but I found that this particular group of Year 6 children could not wait and constantly sought attention. In the end, I split the class into two groups and had half of the children working on the Lego models, whilst the other half went on to a PowerPoint project.

I used the whole class teaching approach with my Year 4 class, but also included group work within the classroom. Because all the children were used to working with the Lego, groupwork ceased to be the problem it had been last year and the whole class approach also worked much better with this group of children, even though they are two years younger.

 

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