Last week was much better than the previous workshop. We had six kids, this time—almost seven, but the one kid didn’t want to work with a partner, so he left. (I tried convincing him to stay, but he was completely unresponsive, not even making eye contact.) However, we even managed to attract a member of the female species!
We followed the lesson plan rather loosely, as the students were able to grasp the visual programming rather quickly, and a lot of the assignments are somewhat redundant. Instead of having them do all of the tasks straight through, I had them skip ahead, using variations of the more advanced tasks. For example, once the kids were able to get the bot to turn, I didn’t have them write a program to go straight and turn—I simply had them program it to use the touch sensor. So, to keep the lessons going at a brisk pace, we’re going to skip further ahead and have them start experimenting with the light sensors.
One thing that worked out very well was the partnering of the students: the most experienced boy, Kyle, was able to teach the girl well enough that she was able to catch up with everyone else in the workshop, despite missing the first two periods. Group learning works well when one of the group members is somewhat more knowledgeable than the others.
So today Kevin and I are going to bring light sensors, and perhaps have the kids program the bots to follow lines.