Hi Guys, just thought I might share some of my experiences with teaching beginner Block coding.
Firstly I would say keep the emphasis on having fun and discovering experiences as a class. Guided play is a very powerful way to learn. This approach also takes the pressure off the teacher to be the leader and encourages students to be independent learners.
Some of my top tips would be -
- Always ask students to sit behind the Sphero when learning to code. This will allow them to orientate left and right with the robot.
- Work in pairs as collaboration is a great learning tool. I often feel that the students conversations are as valuable as the content they are learning.
- Encourage students to take risks and make mistakes. This will then create discussion, problem solving and allow them to debug their programs.
- Show students how to access the help menu by pressing and holding the block. This will improve their knowledge of different kinds of blocks and allow them to increase their ability to solve their own problems.
- Keep the speed setting constant when starting out then students only need to worry about the heading and duration.
- Lastly, keep the coding challenges simple. Below is a link to the my Sphero Coding Activity sheet which is ideal for students learning to code.
Well hopefully that will give you a few ideas to start your Sphero coding journey. If you have any other tips or ideas or have some feedback on my coding activity sheet I would love to hear from you.