LCL

[Week 4 Activity] Visit a Learning Space


#69

Hello everyone,

I present them to my school classroom where students come in groups of 12 to learn about robotics. This year, being the first one to implement robotics at school I have decided to distribute the transacts in the following way:

  • Lego WeDo2 and its programming with Scratch for 10-12 year olds
  • Lego WeDo2 and its programming with the Wedo2 app for students 8-10 years old
  • Bee-bots and code.org activities for students 6-8 years old
  • Bee-bots for students 3-6 years

You can see an image in 360 degrees from my classroom by following this link (the front door).

When I work with the bee-bots, move the tables to the window to leave a clear space in the center of the classroom and to be able to develop the activities on the ground, as this favors (or that I believe) the mobility of the students, To go from one carpet to another, the accidents of the robots by falls from the table to the ground are minimized since it is already worked on the ground, and there are no differences between the teacher and student level since we are all on the ground and not some on small tables and others on the large table.

When working with LegoWedo, either by scheduling from the specific app as from Scratch, I organize the students in four groups of three and they are assigned a half board, so that the three students can be in touch with the robot and the interface of programming by placing one on the short side of the table and the other two, one on each side in the middle of the long part of the table. Two work groups are placed in each table so that they can be close to each other and take advantage of the reflections and advances of the other group, they are close to being able to request help but also when there is a need for a collaborative activity between two groups no longer They have to move around the classroom because they are already close.

We have a pizzar to write with chalk to be able to leave some advice, for the activity and three cork boards where we are going to put important information of a general nature of the robotics workshops. At the moment they are still quite empty but they will be filled with time. Now there is only one relation of all the parts of the wedo2 kit and a manual how to connect wedo2 with Scracth.

The teacher’s table faces the wall since I do not use it when the students are in the classroom. This should not occupy a main space in the organization of space.

As you could have seen, there are no chairs for the students since as the work sessions are only 1 hour long and the activities tend to favor the students’ movement through space, they were more of a hindrance than a solution. So also when the younger students come to work with bee-bots, the chairs do not occupy any space and the students can take advantage of it.

Another feature that I like about my classroom is the fact that the tables have two fitters with a plastic “drawer” inserted into it. In the first place to try to keep the pieces of Lego we use during the construction of the robots inside and minimize the loss of irrigation and, above all, as a test bench for robot programming. When doing the tests in a “drawer” we avoid falls that can break the material.

In addition it is a room with lots of natural lighting. This way we avoid the energy expenditure of blooms and favor a warmer and more cozy work environment, since we are located in a city where the sun shines for most of the days of the year.

As an improvement, it would be good to have a projector to show the students the programming sequences, but always being very small groups that do not have chairs to sit, when necessary, use the desktop computer.

I hope you liked the classroom and could provide some kind of criticism or improvement. It will always be welcome.

I also leave you the direct link to the robotic section of the school website where you can see the activities that we are developing. The text is in Catalan, which I suppose many of you do not speak, but an image is worth a thousand words.
You can also follow the activities we develop in the school on the same website, in the official Twitter account of @EscolaSaavedra, or in my personal @PiE_teacher.


#70

My visit to the The Simone Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Rochester Institute of Technology actually took place 10 years ago long before my family and I moved to Hong Kong. RIT had just opened its new space, which I recall as the Center for Student Innovation, and I was fascinated by goal of providing students of different schools within RIT (engineering, computing, etc.) a place to collaborate.

NOTE: I reside and work in Hong Kong so photos are not mine, but linked from the web.

While I haven’t been there in sometime, when I did visit, I found that students who were working on projects were seeking help from other students in different disciplines. For example, a mechanical engineer might need assistance from a computer science student and would post a flier of their project with a tear-off of their Facebook profile/page. Remember Facebook was for university students so this was something new.

The round space includes many configurations, breakout rooms, classrooms, and lounge/cafe areas to accommodate many purposes. Light furniture can be configured many ways or removed to allow for large projects. As I mentioned in a previous post here in LCL in the conversations around Passion, spaces, like RIT’s are designed to allow for the collision of ideas. Innovation is born out of creativity, creativity is born out of the collision points of ideas.

There isn’t much that I would change at this point, but I have not visited in some time. I am looking to expand the space that my courses currently occupy at Hong Kong International School to expand the opportunities for ideas to collide between disciplines. To do this, the space needs to be inviting to those not currently using it. Flexible arrangements, small “workshop”, lounge/cafe, and a “theatre” setup area for larger groups might be a good construct for our space to be more collaborative across our middle school, perhaps even our entire school.


#71

OK, I have been superbusy, so this post is going to have to count for Passion as well as an example of a learning space where Peers can create and collaborate. I‘ve just made a short video of some stuff going on in my lab in the last 8 weeks. These clips have already been on my STEM blog, permitted, and YT videos are unlisted. I have also included a link to one of my fave videos from afterschool robotics, shot by a first grader.

My lab needs to be bigger! I do grades 4-6 tech lessons, 6th grade math, Jr High robotics, Girls Who Code club, as well as after school WeDo robotics, animation , coding, and Bits&Bytes. My blog is http://cohen.nnms.org. I welcome your feedback. Would love to have you visit the lab if you’re in Chicago.


#72

[My learning creative learning] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb59R5uHrtg&t=104s)


#74

It sounds like an amazing class. I can see how the community aspect of the class results in encouragment and new ideas for everyone involved.


#75

A place like this would be heaven to most people who like to make things. It reminds me of the Beautiful Stuff Project found in the Boston area. https://www.facebook.com/beautifulstuffproject/?ref=br_tf
This place collects and distributes loose parts for schools and other organizations to use. It is such a great idea. I wish every city had one.


#76

FABLAB Jubail and FABLAB Dhahran

the fablab is working on prototyping and help starter projects.
the set up and the mode in the lap is amazing, it will give all you need to go forward with creation and contact with the community.

pic for another time( my hair was messy in the pictures )


#77

I’m so glad you posted the video by Xavier. I am fascinated by how you have enabled the children to work on all different projects at the same time. I have access to eight WeDos and eght WeDo 2.0s, but I rarely have them all out at the same time. Now you have me thinking about the possibilities and I have a million questions. Would you have time to describe how you have structured a class to allow them to work on different builds and different programs all at the same time? How many children are in your first grade class? What is your storage situation like? If the children create different builds, then do you have enough kits that you don’t have to dismantle them before the next class arrives? I want to know it all!!! :smile: I’m going to take a look at your blog now. Thank you!!!


#78

Too true! In our community dumps in the Yukon, we have free stores. If you have something that could be of use to others, you place it in the appropriate section.
We adore the free store!
I’m so happy in Montreal, Anna, a doctorate student has started the Concordia University Centre for Creative Reuse. We keep an estimate of cost, and weigh what we take, with a checklist of types of materials so they can track a rough idea of contribution.
To date we have repurposed file folders, done a physics experiment with peg boards (marble in cut pipe placed with golf tees) and made wooden trains. I’ve been searching for embroidery hoops at low cost and Anna shared a great hack: the lids off robust containers: cut off the lip of the container inside the lid and cut out the inside of the lid. So pleased! That’s a save of $50 to $80 of a budget that is really really tight.


#79

MissMissShelly, What a great idea to create embroidery hoops. I will keep that in mind. Thanks.


#80

Cheers @emmerw. Was looking at your post about your school. Wow! Fascinating, exciting and daunting! Your maker space is so beautifully organized! We’re starting a STEAM initiative in our school and I’ve been preparing the space and gather materials. Next step is to figure out projects that are a good fit with current programs and characters.
Are your cohorts multi-aged? I think that mixed level of experience is part of the appeal in our art class setting.
I am starting to undertake a Rube Goldberg machine with a Grade 4 class with very mixed abilities and levels of maturity and in my mild panic had the insight that ask 3 then me is going to save me a lot of grief and we need teacher lead mini workshops on safe use of tools before hammers and hot glue guns are put into action.


#81

That’s amazing! Actually, I think adults (including teachers and professionals) really need the same challenges and revolutions in their daily lives. The more adults have fun, the more children and students become inspired.


#82

This is an open space for children in a pool. People can do mostly collaborative activities but the space allow you to work alone as well. There are no fix tables so people can organize the space differently lesson by lesson. There are a lot of round tables that could stimulate people to share. The long benches near the wall could be a place to have a rest but also to interact and chat with classmates.
I like this space as an open space where people can move and stretch their body instead of staying in one tiny school bench. One wall is a big glass door so there are plenty of light coming from outside. I think natural light and a garden closeby the learning space help to involve into learning because let the children relax and focused well on the activities. There is just one thing missed: an isolated space where people can reflect and study on their own when they need.


#83

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We created a learning space in our classroom. Mostly time is our work like this.
These are children age 5,6 in 1st grade of elementary school.
After reading a fairy tale they created their own puppets.
They could use different materials, different characters, animals, they could leave their own space and walking around for more ideas…
At the end of the day we had a puppet show and we invited our kindergarten children on our show.

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Our children love that kind of activities. I think that they are shy and they do not go around for more ides like I wish they would. Sometimes they do not want to share their ideas. I will work on that.

Have a nice week!


#84

We (Mango Tree Montessori Lab) had two main aims here, the primary was to teach a multi-age (5, 6 and 7) group of 6 children about the solar system. The second was to do so using art and technology together.
We started with something familiar for them, especially in Italy: food.
On the beginning of the day, we had a short lesson about our solar system, the main characteristics of the planets, its revolution around the sun and the instruments used to explore it.
Then we asked children to imagine how their ideal planet would look and feel like. We also asked them to imagine alternative orbits.
We offered them lots of fruits, vegetables, art supplies and the Cubetto with its space map.
It was amazing to watch the children’s achievements. They were motivated to code and to create new pathways for their ideal planets. Besides learning about the solar system, we observed other outcomes such as the understanding of the seasonability of the fruits and vegetables and the inquire about other types of systems and orbits besides solar ones.
We think a multi-age environment, where children are free to move around and to choose their acitivies is crucial to promote collaboration. Community tables, child sized furniture and material versions that fit in their hands are important.
A short introduction of our objectives and the setting of ground rules was also fundamental before letting them roam free.


#85


In this picture the students are making gardens, tangram and steadicam. They have a classroom called “Aula Maker”, in this room they can work in groups or peers, they help each other. When they finished their projects, they show it to others.
In the Aula Maker are tables in row whit chairs, the students can work sitting or standing, around the classroom there are shelves with the necessary material to create their projects.


#86

That is so cool, very inviting to access all sorts of tools. The buckets are awesome. The lego wall and the fridge adds such great opportunity for /creativity to happen. I want a lego wall like that! How did you creat the lego wall? Thanks for sharing!


#87

This collage shows some of the exciting moments I’ve had with students. It was very difficult to include just a few of these environments. Of course, using Scratch and coding is one of my favorite times with students – wherever we may be. Kids often love to work on the floor. The girls are involved in an unplugged coding project. At one of my schools, there is an outdoor learning space where children read, draw, build, take photos, and just play and learn. Our Farm to School Projects also play well into outdoor spaces and collaboration. Occasionally we go on a virtual field trip, the one in the collage is from Polar Bears International. We really need to do more of that. We live in a rural area. That is a plus in many ways, but virtual field trips can take our students to urban areas and large museums and zoos – places some of them have never experienced. We did visit the Seuss Museum last summer where the children enjoyed many great learning, imagining and creating spaces. I have included a photo of a colleague. She is a fifth-grade teacher with an enormous amount of energy and creativity. I do not have a photo of her classroom, but it is awesome. She has designed it herself to fit her style and allow her students to feel welcome and comfortable to learn, experiment and collaborate. I work at 3 elementary schools, see about 250 children and 20 teachers each week. I have taught students for 25+ years. Each day is a new experience. Sometimes I feel like I am living in the future. It is not just the smartboards, iPads and computers. It is the wave of newness, a coming of an era where our children will be able to indulge themselves in their passions. A time for teachers to be trusted leaders who will have the permission to be able to strike out on new paths of teaching. I am happy to say that our Supervisory Union is currently carrying out model-school visits to help us determine how we should provide innovative learning spaces for our schools in the near future.


#88

The LEGO wall was was made by using glue in a caulking gun to attach 12" by 12" LEGO plates to a piece of 1 inch plywood painted green.

The kids either build directly on it or on LEGO plates which we put up on it.


#89

This week’s reading led me to reflect on and revisit different learning environments at my college. Our classes were round table conversations, in which professors acted as facilitators. This was an excellent format, but I nearly always skipped classes, opting instead to spend my time in environments that afforded self-paced and self-directed inquiry, tangential conversations, play, and reading time. These spaces included the library, music halls, dormitories, and particularly the Student Union building. In the Student Union building, one could follow and participate in many different dialogues, in contrast to the focused single dialogue of a classroom in session. Groups of students formed and dispersed, according to shared academic disciplines or social interests. There were round tables, long tables, clusters of sofas, a large fireplace, and two balconies that were particularly well suited for quiet reading. The building was a wonderful space in which to learn about our peers’ passions and to remix ideas with one another.

On balance, I have always regretted spending my time there rather than in class, but the “Peers” chapter in LK helped me reframe the memory. Perhaps I gravitated toward a space that was more like a Computer Clubhouse: I learned so much as a young student by asking older students, who were working intensely on senior theses, about their research, and about the students who came before them.

On a different note, I wonder how the dynamics of informal learning spaces have changed for students who, today, interact and converse through social media. It seems sadly likely that a student union could be a place where students, connecting through Facebook rather than face to face, go to be “alone together”.

Here is film photograph of my college circa 1993, on one of the rare days when, rather than raining, it snowed.

reed