Colombia 1st Grade Coding Class Case Study
How many kids are in a group
How was the Matatalab robot(s) used?
Kids loved Matata in class. Robots were used to introduce our students to computational thinking. Gimnasio Moderno used to introduce students to computational thinking in 1st grade: off-code programming and visuospatial activities. Otherwise, using Matatalab's products we could introduce them in a funnier, and more interactive way. Using the geography mat, we have taught them the importance to understand the order of each sequence (script). After that, we made some emphasis about how they could use different techniques to organize their ideas to know where they are located, in order to move Matata to the right position (according to the challenge purposed). Besides, we used all Matata's products we have with our teacher mates. Most of all, we used the Musician add-on and the Artist add-on with teachers who are teaching these subjects. ICT teachers were the responsible to teach them, in order to understand all their functionalities, and understand how they could use these products into their classes.
What skills did it develop?
Among others, our skills related to Computational Thinking topics were:
S1. Organize information to solve small problems in the class.
S2. Pass different computational and technological challenges using the critical thinking routines.
What worked best and what was challenging?
Having a touchable coding interface improves a lot the sequence student's script comprehension Command colors to differentiate between each add-on pack Icons to identify the different kind of coding concepts (it is really easy to teach how it works a loop, or even a function, concepts which may be so hard to understand for kids) The mat (not the material used to make it): the idea to use mats to teach ANY SUBJECT teachers want to teach
Differentiate command blocks (Could it improve if all the movement commands were made with different colors, according to their movement?) Organize a group of kids to work with just a Matatalab kit Keep the mat save (after some uses in class, corners start breaking them). The plastic one (which come included with Matata sensor pack) was excellent: material, measure, etc. The other one, we had some troubles to keep the robot forward, because there were some "holes" between each picture.
How did students respond?
The best part to teach students with Matatalab was watching their faces, after they reached every challenge purposed in class, even when these challenges were really easy to solve. Therefore, teaching them through the such powerful of their emotions and feelings probably it be the best way to engage further their deeper acknowledgements with their learnings.
Share your comments upon the class using Matatalab
After the class using Matatalab, students asked us when we are going to use them again. Probably, we will use them next year, to work not just computational thinking, or ICT topics. With the rest of ICT teachers, we are thinking about the possibility to use them to introduce the first steps in each subject or, even we are thinking about the chance to make some groups to bring teams to the MWRC- MatataWorld Robotics Competition.