Fifth graders have been exploring line-based code and learning how to apply their knowledge of sequencing, loops, conditionals and functions to this new language. As part of a challenge in technology specialist Claire Hollocou’s class, the students programmed Dash robots.
Having reviewed a coding skill at the beginning of the lesson, the students split their time between two stations. In one station, they applied the skill to line-based code while trying to solve puzzles, while in the other station, they used line-based code to help their robots to complete challenges.
“In the puzzle station, the students helped a character, Byte, collect gems by navigating through a maze, toggling switches and avoiding obstacles,” Hollocou said. “They used the skills they have learned along the way to help them do this. In the robot station, they used sequencing, loops, conditionals and functions to get their Dash to complete a race and different challenges.”
Hollocou said the activity fostered collaboration among the students as they navigated together through the challenges. In addition, it further enhanced their critical thinking and problem-solving skills and encouraged them to apply an already learned skill to a new, more complicated programming language.
“I hope that students grow their passion for coding and their confidence in themselves,” she said. “Many of the skills we learn in coding can be applied to all parts of their day. Whether they are trying to solve a problem with a friend or in math class, understanding how to apply logic and perspective-taking are powerful skills.”