- Things kids enjoy doing (the hook to get them invested in learning)
- Simon Says
- Collaborating and
A little more detail...
1. Keep it simple, make the game and iPad lesson about showing how math applies to programming shapes. A square was the first shape kids tried out. 90 degrees times 4 is 360 degrees. We need 360 degrees to finish at the same spot we started in. So, set the rotate command to 90 in the Hopscotch program. Maybe one of your second graders can add 90 four times and maybe they can't. So, just help them and point it out. Simple. I think older students will grasp the idea very quickly.
2. Tie the idea of programming to Simon Says. Play Simon Says so the class contributes the steps to get you to walk in a square or to the door.
3. Celebrate the class' first program (getting you to walk in a square).
4. Let the kids explore the app. Trial and error is fantastic but don't let it get frustrating. It's ok to fail a couple times and then suggest students sake each other for help. Ask 3 before me, if someone gets stuck. Demonstrate the steps if you need to move more quickly but try not to. The class is not as chaotic as you would think. These little guys were so focused that they were hardly talking. Level 1 or 2 on the noise scale.
5. Save and email the program to the teacher. I need to figure out how to share them out with the whole class and their families on a website or list of links that need to be opened on an iPad. I will work on that.
I would not have believed it unless I saw it. I wrote my first Fortran program in college. These kids ran circles around me using their iPad and the Hopscotch program. Everyone had a blast using Hopscotch and some kids showed just how much of a genius that they are by creating some wild programs.
So, now I have to think about my strategy for the next classes coming up. I have quite a few free apps: Light-Bot, Kodable, Daisy the Dinosaur and Hopscotch. I've already seen a 1st grader and 3rd grader thoroughly enjoy both Light-Bot and Kodable and now 45 second graders using Hopscotch. Maybe I'll set a timer and give 5 minutes for each to introduce the app and then give them free choice for remaining time. I wonder what app they will stick with? Any guesses?