Task 7 Option 2


Resources and Lesson Ideas:

The resource that I chose for this classroom activity is Code.org – a website that I have seen used in a Year 4 classroom to teach coding. This website is an online visual programming environment that works in a similar manner to blocky.  More specifically, I chose to base this classroom activity on code.org’s  Basketball Activity as I find that it further extends their knowledge past the coding component. It provides adequate scaffolding (Bruner, 1983; Vygotsky, 1984) and allows children to work independently at a pace that suits them yet provides prompts where necessary. This activity allows students to produce a code for a functional game that can be played, and later shared with friends.
Activity:
  1. Prompt thinking by brainstorming “How does a computer know what to do when I click keys or move the mouse to play games?”
  2. Expose students to the idea you can manipulate and change code to alter programs (computational thinking and the design of programs)
  3. Run through first few stages together – think about the following questions:
    • Can we change the speed of … the ball movement? the hand sliding?
    • How does the scoring system work? Does it have to increase only by 1 each score?
  4. Make some changes to the code based on class feedback and have students comment on how it has made the game better/worse?
  5. Students can then work in pairs to complete more challenging stages of basketball activity. This is so as to encourage collaborative learning in a social constructivist environment (Vygotsky, 1984).
Curriculum: 
Technologies (Digital Technologies)
  • Year 3: Use visually represented sequenced steps (algorithms), including steps with decisions made by the user (branching) (ACTDIP011)
  • Year 4: Use simple visual programming environments that include a sequence of steps (algorithm) involving decisions made by the user (branching) (ACTDIP011)
  • Year 5: Implement and use simple programming environments that include branching (decisions) and iteration (repetition) (ACTDIP020)
  • Year 6: Implement and use simple visual programmingenvironments that include branching (decisions), iteration (repetition) and user input (ACTDIP020)
Integration:
  • Health and Physical Education: Links can be made to the HPE curriculum by introducing specific skills used in organised sport such as basketball.
    • Linking of fundamental movement skills to specific skills used in organised games, sports and activities, such as linking throwing to basketball passing and shooting (ACPMP061ACPMP065)
Limitations of my activity:
Having a structured and scaffolded programme like such can sometimes cause teachers and students to be mere consumers and providers of this resource rather than being inspired to explore, take risks, share knowledge with a wider community, independently learn and make links to real-world contexts (Sentance, Waite, MacLeod & Yeomans, 2017). This then runs the risk of students not being able to see that knowledge and learned skills (e.g. computational thinking) in a transferrable context. In utilising platforms such as blocky, code.org, scratch (jnr) etc, I highly encourage teachers to make an effort to adapt the lessons into their own rather than just encouraging students to learn by following video tutorials.

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