Download a copy of the parent handout below or check out the youtube video for some more ideas.
For my students, they only need to be using computational thinking in non-computerised learning outcomes. So this means without using technology or devices in the learning. Of course you can use them, but as my students had never heard the term 'coding' or computational thinking before we went and unpacked these in basic activities. My students were so engaged in the learning activity!
We have been learning how to 'think like a futurist' and had a robot arrive in our classroom that has been prompting us to think of futuristic type activities. That is why there is a cute little robot in our activity. So how did we start?
First we obviously unpacked the language that we would be using (directional positions) and then identified what our left and right were. This was the hard part as so many students were confused over which was their actual left!
We then started with whole class learning with computational thinking, giving instructions to get our robot from his beginning position to his spaceship. This was great discussion to begin with as we had lots of confusion over left and right again.
Check out the video below of our first inital discussion prompts!
Once we had a few practices, I then introduced 'space rocks' - parts of the board that our robot can't go on or through to add some difficulty. This really made students think about what they needed to do and where they could go. We continued to work on problems in groups with students taking turns being the designer and the coder. Moving the robot and spaceship around the board in their own positions to create their own algorithms. This was the best part as students were able to do their own thing! They then had to write the instructions down on their whiteboards for each of their designer or coder problems.
Check out this quick video of these group members explaining their work!
Once we had finished our group work, we moved onto creating our own individual boards with the robot, spaceship and spacerocks. We created a success criteria for what they needed and how to present it, ready for our learning presentations this week with our families! Can't wait to share our finished products with you once we have completed them this week!
One of the key takeaways I took was a way to get students interested and engaged in writing. So I developed a superwriter incentive - where students that do super writing get to wear a superhero cape! We simply developed a writing criteria together for what the superwriter writer should have (things like capital letters, full stops, be interesting to read etc.), and then I choose which ones are picked! Simple!
Now I thought this year my Year 3s would find this babyish. So I didn't introduce it to them until this term. But as soon as I did, they have been lapping it up!! They love it! They have put so much effort into their writing this week, really make sure they are working on their goals, giving each other feedback and checking on their success criteria!
So if you're looking for a fun and easy way to get students engaged in writing, simply introduce the superwriter programme and watch them lap it up! They will love it just as much as mine have!
Last year I created this slide deck for a staff meeting in my Junior Team with a recording of it attached above. This is just a youtube of the slide deck if you prefer to listen rather than read. The slides show how easily you can break down those tricky key terms in your practice or classroom.
Above are two plans that I created for my team also. The first plan is a junior devices ICT use LTP that provides ideas, tips and links to a range of things that can be taught in the classroom in all ICT areas.
The second plan is a junior coding LTP that provides ideas, links and resources for teaching coding in a junior classroom.
Both of these are in pdf form but can be moved into google docs form. Please do not share these files without permission - you are welcome to share the link to this post. Both of these were created by myself and full credit needs to be left at the top if in use.
There are plenty of other resources available including more that I have created in this folder link (pictured above). These include specific examples to the Digital Technologies curriculum that can be used in your classroom.
When sharing, please share the link to this post when sharing the links. Please do not recreate any of the information or planning you find - both of these were created by myself and full credit needs to be left at the top if in use.
Find the slide deck to these pre-made templates here. Simply make a copy for yourself or just download which slide you want to use. Upload it to Seesaw and create an activity with that for your students to complete.
Check out my other slides for use with Seesaw here.
Once we had talked about the expectations and guidelines for the 'ask me' buddy we put it into practice with our first 'ask me' buddy of the week. She did such a great job and students really enjoyed going to her rather than me! It also freed me up a little bit to work with other students and stopped the constant interruptions with silly questions.
I can see the potential this has within the classroom and will update you on how it is going over the year. My students love being responsible and this type of classroom job will really help build responsibility of everyone in the classroom.
Want a copy of the 'ask me' buddy lanyards? Download it from the VIP access section.
Every year, I always begin teaching the Daily 5 activities slowly and in tumble form. This helps students to learn what is happening in each one and form routines/expectations within literacy time. From term 2 onwards I usually implement my Daily 5 task card in place of a tumble.
How does it work?
Students get to choose their own activities within reading time without teacher direction. Students receive their own Daily 5 checklist board (like pictured above) with a little picture of themselves on their one. This type of learning in reading time promotes student agency of their choices in learning, builds responsibility for their actions and is fun - no more teacher telling them what to do!
As i teach Year 3 students I chose to implement a practice version of this in the last week of school. This has helped my students see and know what is coming next term but also have a practice with it. This helps form new routines but practicing the expectations of how it will change. It really has been a great way to move from the tumble based programme to their own choice and would recommend doing a practice before hand to help with those routines.
My students are so excited to begin their real task cards next term after the holidays and I can't wait to see their ownership and responsibility of their learning shift from being teacher led to student led.
Check out this quick video below to see it in action on an ipad!
On the weekend I was fortunate to attend the annual Maths Conference in Auckland led by the Maths Association. This is always a great opportunity to learn from others and hear some new ideas when implementing maths in class. This maths conference had me leaving with two main ideas that I want to share with you.
Mrs Priestley ICT blog is a place to read, download and view ideas!