Thursday Coding and Robotics Elective – Five Months Later

Apparently I forgot to post this months ago, oops.

Three months ago my school instituted a Thursday afternoon elective program for our 4-6th grade students. You can read about the process of getting it started here. We are now coming to the end of the school year and I want to document some stats and make some notes for myself.

Coding and Robotics Elective

Cycle One Stats:

  • 6 weeks.
  • 20 students, 4 girls, 16 boys.
  • 5 robots, 1 Ozobot, 4 Dash robots.

Cycle Two Stats:

  • 4 weeks.
  • 25 students, 8 girls, 17 boys.
  • Pure coding, no robots.

Cycle Three Stats:

  • 4 weeks.
  • 22 students, 8 girls, 14 boys.
  • 18 Ozobots.

Cycle Four Stats:

  • 8 weeks
  • 20 Students, 7 girls, 13 boys.
  • 18 Ozobots

Items of note:

  • I needed to plan the 8 week class for the fourth cycle better. I had several repeat students for the first time and they got bored by the end because they didn’t feel there was enough new stuff.
  • I need to do more direct instruction. My students didn’t think logically very well and did not access the online help resources effectively.
    • Things to cover
      • recursion
      • loops
      • incrementing counters
      • planning out what the robot needs to do before starting to code.
  • 2:1 is best for robots and coding. At 3:1 or higher someone always got left out.

Things to try for next year.

  • Take the students and robots to lower grade class and have them buddy up.
  • With the longer sessions don’t pull the robots out until the students have coded a bit first.
  • Next year we will have elective all year not just spring. I will need to plan for how to keep students engaged longer. Especially since many will have had this elective last year.

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