Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hour of Code with Pre- K

Working with the preschool students was great fun, I used the Tynker app on the ipads in a small group of 5. Such a young group required guidance and targeted questioning techniques, especially during the repeat function. Although it was challenging, it was worth the effort when the students started to identify patterns.
We worked on one ipad as a group, then each student repeated the levels on their own ipads. For the second round, I added a few new students and had the first group assist the second group while I supervised and jumped in when necessary. Although the Tynker app only allowed us to play the Codey's Quest Game for free, it was perfect for the time period and cognitive level of the 3 and 4 year olds. By far the best app I found was The Foos. It was easier to use and provided adequate visual guidance during the learning experience. This apps needs the least amount of guidance from an adult. The challenges are stimuating and really feel like a game. The Foos app also allowed us to reset the progress of the user.
During Morning Meeting, we "Programmed a classmate" for an unplugged coding activity using the geometrical design of the rug as a "Game board." I believe it would have been better to do this with a smaller group, rather than the whole class, as some students were not as engaged in the process.

 We did attempt to use a few other apps, such as Daisy the Dinosaur, but she doesn't take recognizable steps. When we used the "One move forward" command, the dinosaur appeared to take 3 steps instead of one. Another app that caused a bit a kerfufffle was Kodable, the first challenge directed us to select moves that we did not think were correct. The app represented moves in groups of blocks instead of one block per move, it was too confusing for such a young age.