- The project I would like to work on with my students is using Spheros and Ollies.
- I have been researching ideas and lesson plans others have used and shared. How this connects to this course is I want to lead this PROJECT in a creative way “with wide walls and high ceilings”. I have found many creative ways for students to use the Spheros and Ollies but I have a limited amount. I am looking for ideas of how to manage a class of 25-30 students and having like only 6 of these total. I want my students to come up with creative ideas of their own but also work as a group. I am looking for ways to let them PLAY constructively and share with PEERS their ideas and accomplishments. I want them to also feel that PASSION of learning code. I am up for any ideas that you like to share with me. I am technology teacher, I see my students for 50 minutes once every 6 days, the grade level I am working with is third through fifth grade and there are about 300 students total.
Since I was a child, I’ve always been enamored with Calder’s mobiles, especially his Circus. When I saw the Exploratorium Tinkering Studio had simple versions of automata, I became obsessed with making a series. I started with the simplest paper/foam cam construction. I had seen a rather elegant paperclip axle and attempted that, but it didn’t work out too well. I have since broke out the trusty Dremel and drilled, sawed and sanded. A trip to the discount store yielded a menagerie of plastic and wooden animals as well as assorted hardware for a series of steampunk-inspired robots. The fruits of my labor thus far, in various stages of completion (I tried to upload a video, but the format wasn’t compatible) (The 5th graders expressed an interest in making their own, but I can’t imagine how I would ever have the time and resources to facilitate that (shame!).:
I am planning to use the excuse of a colleague into having each of my kids in 5th grade involved in the “Hour of code” next week. He has suggested to work with some kind of “guides or Ambassadors” as to assist others. I really think it is an excellent excuse (opportunity) to teach kids the importance of coding and how all these devices they frequently use are involved or have a code to it.
This work will take place next week, so I guess I’ll be back to update this comment.
This sounds amazing. I’d love to hear more about it!
This is incredible. I laughed so hard!
Happy to hear that
I’m interested in the completed deck and its applications as well!
Thanks, MissMissShelly, your blessing of courage was so apt. It is as if I have the smallest chance of losing heart, and I needed to hear that challenge to take courage, thank you!
My struggle/challenge/design is to bring creative learning into my undergrad teacher prep coursework. Many comments here from peers helped me rethink what I have been doing, and new ideas for things to do in future classes.
During class today, next to last class, students discussed what all we’ve explored together this semester, within the context of where will this take you, what will you do with what we’ve learned together. Instead of the predictable “become a better teacher” or the pedestrian “get and keep a job”, they mentioned lofty goals: “To inspire children to keep on wanting to learn” and “to continue on as life-long learners ourselves”. My, oh, my, this professor got schooled today, learning creative learning going on all around him.
I was very dissappointed there…
When the staff of Book store told me about Cat town, I was exited and when we came, there was just a few pictures of the Muri…
So nothing of what I was expected wasnt there.
So I realized that we had in our classroom a better Cat town
I agree with to bring the spirit of kindergarten to children of all ages and backgrounds. I remember that in my childhood I liked the strollers so I programmed this game of a racing car. I believe that this program can be extended in such a way that it every time is increasingly difficult to reach the finish. This last is left to the imagination of each participant.
OK, super busy, and have 2 days of PD this week, but I am comitted to nurturing a playful creative attitude in my students. On Monday, some 6th graders BEGGED me to do the Write to the Right activity. This was an activity they did last year, and wanted to repeat. They spend 2 minutes at each computer working on a story, then move to the computer to the right. I don’t have video from Monday, but here is video from when they were in 5th grade.
Yesterday, I worked with 4th and 5th graders programming in Hopscotch.Today, I worked with some 6th graders using Scratch.
An idea that I have to work with my students in first grade, for the next project is to program Dash and Dot for different applications, managing to build a circuit to move with this robot and then relate it to mathematics.
Where the girls will solve operations and when programming Dash and Dot they will be able to reach the correct results of the operations. An example can be a labyrinth.
The best project that I can imagine for supporting creative learning is this: providing all 220 elementary (primary) students in my school with the opportunity to play and learn with Scratch. Since I am the one responsible for technology, I am well positioned to make this happen. However, there are some practical (and understandable) obstacles that need to be overcome before I can realize this dream: 1) promoting first experiences in Scratch by elementary teachers who are unfamiliar with it, 2) convincing each elementary teacher to request a Scratch teacher account, 3) obtaining parental permission for each child to use Scratch, 4) ensuring that each teacher sets up a Scratch class with corresponding student accounts, and 5) providing students with classroom time to imagine, create, play, share, and reflect with Scratch.
I’ve been a big fan of Scratch for many years, and am willing to put forth a lot of energy to make this vision happen. Nonetheless, this big project is more than a little daunting! I suspect that others in this online course have faced a similar challenge, and perhaps there are experiences (positive and negative!) that I can learn from. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you, LCL and Scratch educator peers!
I am thinking in starting a Creative Learning project using Scratch and other web-2 tools. The project will involve creating a story about environment (such as planning trees or learning about the benefits of a healthy environment). It might also need tp plant some trees in school yard or other plants.
I have brought in boxes of loose objects before, and I’ve set up a writing/drafting/publishing station […], but - - BLAH! - - not much happens
That was my main doubt I expressed throughout these weeks: Can you start a sparkle simply by exposing? I’m afraid my answer is NO. A better strategy for me could be: decide together some goal (e.g. building a car), then try it with what you have at hand. This was my (our, for people of my age in Italy) way of tinkering as a boy: always a goal in mind. They could find out that there are no wheels at hand: so what? Everyone is able to build a car having four wheels! Use creativity, use analogy whith your past experiences, invent a wheel: could this have been the process for our ancestors?. Your ball is stuck among some branches of a tree? It would take a ladder. No ladder? Shake the tree. Too big? Thow stones at the ball? No stones? Well, very unfortunate… but more challenging
Is your goal to teach your students to love learning? Then this is YOUR CHALLENGE; get at it with what you have at hand.
To inspire children to keep on wanting to learn
That’s the point! Maybe they can keep on as long as they have something to achieve, and some kind of wall ahead they have to climb over, or pass aside. Maybe in this process you can sparkle curiosity, and ability for someone to pose a problem by themselves, and try to solve it looking for the solution within their possibilities, but challenging themselves to increase these possibilities. For me this is the philosophy of problem solving.
Glad to hear the same passion!
My motivation behind this dream…I did volunteer teaching in Yunnan (China) for two years, and I deeply feel the lack of quality learning resources, opportunities and mostly, guidance for kids in the disadvantaged areas. I have always looking for and learning about approaches of quality education, especially those that can also be practiced in disadvantaged areas> And then I heard and began exploring such topics as making/tinkering…PBL…inquiry-based learning… I feel the big concept behind these types of learning is about mindset/creativity/dispositions/soft skills development, not really about tools–there are always local resources that can be used as tools for learning…
I feel a tentative model for the learning space could be computer clubhouse+scratch community+Exploratorium…which combines digital making and physical making, making with tech tools and tinkering with humble materials, offline and online community…But of course, after testing again and again, it will and must be adapted to meet the needs of the local community…
Eddy, I would love to hear about your thoughts of creating a club house in France
I think you’re right about finding the place where you will be happy. I found a school I absolutely loved. It was very challenging, a mix of extended strong families and people doing the best they can with very little. It was closed and it broke my heart. I followed some of my kids to a school in one of the most impoverished neighbourhoods in Canada and was not happy there. The administration believes in the power of the arts and was bringing in many superb programs, but I could not sit with the permissive stance toward violent behaviours and I burnt out. In many ways it was a question of time before I did that because I invest everything in school and am not good at balancing home/work life. I am taking an online meditation course and that is helping. I lucked into another school that has an interesting mix of students, a very dedicated administrator and some staff whom I love.
I think those 4 elements, administrator (although they change), staff, student body and a person’s active involvement in their mental wellbeing are worth looking at.
With the right combination of those elements, you will be able to find support to build the programs you want. I had a fabulous consultant who helped me get financing to do some really grand programs. I didn’t realize how essential that support was, until I moved away from the context where I had built my programs.
Now I am building in new directions and it feels really good. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with how much there is to do. There are many different kinds of teaching opportunities too… some overseas if you have mobility. Some you could do with a family, others not so much.
I really think it’s a question of finding the right elements. There are so many different teaching contexts. My one friend became a monster of a librarian. It gave her the flexibility to expand minds without the constraints of ‘teacher’ although she always battled administration to be recognized as a teacher/librarian.
I hope you find a situation that nurtures you and you can nurture. They are out there. Spread the word that you’re looking because that social network can be so helpful.
The project I’d like to work on to support creative learning is creating a Scratch course curriculum that incorporates outdoor and indoor nature experiences along with learning Scratch. I really love working with kids helping them to learn Scratch, but to date my framework of how this looked was largely constricted to a playpen style experience. I’ve always been interested in finding more ways to incorporate offline and unplugged experiences with online experiences, so I’d like to see if it’s possible to work with this concept even further. These classes would primarily be Scratch project based with a different nature project theme for each class. Ideally the classes would be taught leveraging pair programming, where two children team together on a single project at one workstation.
Here I’ll give an outline of how I’d work with a “Nature Leaves” theme class. For the first part of the class, kids would be led on a guided walk outside if weather permits. Here the main goal would be for each pair to visually identify a leaf in nature that is interesting to them. Upon returning to the classroom, the children would collaborate on a rough pencil sketch of their leaf. Next, each pair would create a new project in Scratch and look at options to create a representation of their leaf object as a Sprite in Scratch. This step might mean using an existing Sprite if there is a good match in the library, or creating and designing a new Sprite. Once the Sprite has been added or created in Scratch, the pairs can work on building out their story board to showcase something special or unique about their object, add a background where their object would typically be found, and if time permits they can work with Scratch code blocks to show how the leaf moves in nature. The last part of the class will have an opportunity for each pair to talk a little bit about their project, and offer what they think they might have added to the project if they had more time.
The possibilities of different nature themes are really quite endless, and the complexity of the resultant Scratch projects can be as simple or complex as the kids make them. I am a little concerned that some of the kids might find the process of creating a Sprite in Scratch a little overwhelming and tricky, but I think that this is a good kind of process to tinker and play with.
Given the time, I’d love to flesh out this kind of class curriculum further and hope to get an opportunity to teach it. I’m thrilled for any ideas or input from the LCL community on this concept!
A couple of things come to mind when thinking about a project that involves the creative process for students. One is that I would like to have my students create an app. They could create an app that is something fun to use or one that solves a problem. This would allow students find something they are passionate about to work on and solve. Opportunities to work with other students and collaborate would be present. Playing with the programming would also be a part of this. Another thing I would like to have my students use it the Maker kits that deal with circuits. I saw some of them in the videos throughout this course and I have some at my school. Having students experiment and play with these kits would be fun and engaging for students. They would also have the opportunity to be involved in the creative process.
Thank you so much. This is brilliant! Gonna show a friend who’s a very tech enthusiastic principal.
Love that we share here!