This post is about my favourite lesson from the free ‘Get Started With Code’ teacher guide by Apple. I love Lesson 5 because the progression in language, understanding, teamwork and sequencing is always great. In this free teacher guide, every lesson has a practical activity which teachers a computational thinking skill to solve a problem in ‘real life’.
This means you can teach coding without needing a computer!
The lessons do progress on to a free coding app called ‘CodeSpark’ where young learners use arrows (like on a Bee-Bot) to make characters move on screen. But the first part of each lesson plan is effective because it teaches the language and thinking of computing in a practical, off-screen activity. Children understand the concept in a real-life experience before applying it to on-screen coding. It also helps you to teach children how to problem solve and impacts on the Characteristics of Effective Learning by helping them to think critically and change the way they are approaching the task.
Download the free ‘Get Started With Code’ teacher guide here.
The practical activity in this lesson is called ‘Robot Fun’ and uses a squared floor grid with direction cards of forwards, backwards, left and right. You help children to ‘break the problem down’ and solve in it in manageable chunks. This a computational thinking skill called ‘decomposition’. It also helps children to understand what the commands of forwards, backwards, left and right mean in a real life, before applying this to a Bee-Bot or the CodeSpark app (OR BOTH!)Continue reading