Thursday, 23 February 2012

WeDo Lego Inquiry Based Learning Update #6

Do you know the difference between toasters and robots?

The students in Division 5 do!  Toasters have no brains, they cannot sense when bread is burning, and generally are not all that smart.   Alternatively, robots have brains.  They have the ability to see motions and can interact and react to inputs.

Today we worked with the programming of our lego robotics.  When doing inquiry learning it is important to know when necessary skills need to be taught in order for progress to occur.   Today we used a 'show and do' model to help facilitate children's understanding of some programming skills with the WeDo Lego Software.   We wanted the students to understand that just like scientists we need to be able to test just one variable at a time.

 We set the challenges as follows and gave them a couple of minutes with each one:

  1. If sensor detects motion, then the motor turn on.
  2. If sensor detects motion, then turn sound on.
  3. If sensor detects motion, the sound turns on and keeps repeating.
  4. BUILD YOUR OWN CHALLENGE with the sensor!
Something that surprised us was the difficulty the children had with isolating only one variable.   Instead of creating programs specific to our requests, they wanted to pursue our usual style of inquiry and non-structured creativity.   Adapting to what we were seeing, Ms. Garcia set our fourth and final challenge to put the student at the centre of their learning.

We finished with students sharing their programs.  Several partners build rebuilt their programs on the teacher's laptop and then the rest of class predicted what would happen.   

Next week will be having a Lego Celebration where the students will be able to bring in their parents/guardians to engage a challenge with them as well as celebrate their child's learning of what is means to be a good scientist.   Students will share their reflections in their Lego Logs.   All parents will receive an invitation tomorrow to the Lego Party on Thursday, March 1st beginning at 1:15pm. 

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