Since my last BeeBot posting our year two students have really got to grips with what these fun loving minbeasts can do. We developed our free play sessions, to begin thinking about units of measure. We had prepared ladybird shaped "dance mats" for each group to use, and began exploring what a BeeBot unit of measure might mean. We began by making predictions about, and then testing how many steps it would take for the bots to move across the mats we had made, at different points. At first the children guessed, but as the sessions moved on they began to refine these, until what they estimated was more realistic. We extended the activity further to invite predictions about where on the mat the BeeBot would stop, after certain inputs were entered, and finally we watched our video from last time, before engaging the students with their ultimate challenge. They must create a dance routine for their BeeBot, it must stay within the area of the mat. It was not allowed to touch the floor. Drawing on last weeks video, and the predictions we had made, the children soon realised that in order for this to happen, forward and backward inputs could not be greater than three, but "fancy" moves could be included in their routines, by adding on the spot turns, or using the pause button.
During the last two sessions we have also required the children to record their activity, and to note the inputs neccesary for their BeeBoot programs. With support the children have begun to plan their routines by breaking the actions down into steps, using the BeeBot to support this, clearing memory between each input, and recording the steps made. On completion of their boogie "routines," the children tested these, on the mat, in order to check that their boogie met the criteria we had shared for the challenge.
This week I brought along a collection of tunes created in Garageband on a Mac. These had been developed by students in year 3, during their control unit on playing with sounds, there were also one or two I had made myself while learning how to use the software. As Year 2 finalised and refined their routines, their groups were asked to choose the track they would like their Bot to Boogie to. To round off this section of activities, we came together, and shared our BeeBot Boogies, with our chosen backing track played behind it. Our LSA filmed the boogies, and today, I have compiled them with the children's chosen backing tracks. They are amazing in that they reflect the progress the children have made in such a short period of time, firstly in their problem solving, but also in their understanding of how we need to break down sequences of instructions into small steps, when planning, in order that what happens is what we expected. There were a few slip ups, but it is interesting how the students responded. Comments like "it didn't do that on our table," lead to discussions about whether or not the Bot had begun its boogie in the correct place on the mat. Even when errors were made the majority of bot bodies stayed within the confines of the mat area, which is also evidence of how the students engaged with the activity, and how their knowledge and understanding of control and measure have progressed in this context over the last couple of weeks. Videos of these latest offerings are available in the year 2 community pages of our school website. Hopefully you might enjoy them as much as we did creating them.