Monday, 7 May 2018

Coding across the school at Chisholm - Part 2

Student understanding of coding and the outcomes of the work they have completed at Chisholm can be seen in the following videos.
From these videos you can see development in:
  • Coding language
  • Computational thinking
  • Application to real life
  • Iterative designs
  • Problem solving
  • Collaborative work
The narrative based activity allowed each student the creativity to explore coding without predetermined outcomes.  It provided student with autonomy around how they designed their narrative and determined the programming of their Blue-Bot.

Feedback from Teacher Librarian on impact on learning so far
  • Students have been able to show their thinking and then verbalise and express that as an algorithm.  
  • The simplicity of the blue-bots has meant that students are getting more depth in terms of creativity and understanding before they move onto more coding concepts.  
  • High level of engagement across all stages has been extraordinary. 
  • Social skills from working in groups of three
  • Language skills and directional knowledge
  • Can be easily differentiated and provide success for all students
This program is improving awareness among the school community of coding.
Parents are saying that their children talking about  the coding program at home and what they are learning.

Evaluation on learning for students
Feedback will be done early Term 2 with students providing feedback to each group about their code and suggestions for improvement, as well as feedback with the group and self reflection.

Student evaluation will be done via two methods means:

1.  A whole class activity:
  • 1-2 students: Their page is given to other students selected at random to set up the grid mat with the pictures, and another pair of randomly selected students enter the code using the page of code, not looking at the grid.
  • As a class we ask the questions and allocate the ticks: green tick - very successful, black tick - successful eventually, sad face - unsuccessful.

  • Class discusses the medals and missions and select the most relevant mission

    • 2. Self evaluation
      In addition to the whole class evaluating each group's code, each student will complete their own self evaluation.

      Tuesday, 10 April 2018

      Coding across the school at Chisholm - Part 1

      Chisholm Catholic Primary School Teacher Librarian Fiona Lark has been introducing coding to all year groups across the school in Term 1 of 2018.  The aim being to focus on developing familiarity and fluency with computational thinking practices.

      The approach was to provide a narrative based coding design to develop computational thinking where students are designing, coding, iterating and debugging. This approach provides students with more opportunities to really learn about coding and makes it more student-centric and relatable.

      The Learning Action Plan across all grades was:
      To plan, program and introduce a progression of basic coding activities from K-6, integrated across other KLAs.

      Success criteria across all grades:
      • Students will work together to solve problems
      • Students will construct a basic narrative using control technologies
      • Students can create simple algorithms for others to solve
      • Teacher will have developed a coding strategy to build coding skills across the school

      To achieve this it was decided to use Blue-Bots as the robotic tool to introduce coding from K-6.  It provided a continuum for the teacher to program across all stages.

      Students would have a session each week on coding.

      See the program docs:

      Differentiation across the grades:

      • K - Focused on  basic navigation and coding concepts using the Blue-bots with pre-made mats
      • Stage 1 - Focused on creating their own coding program based on well known stories - The Very Hungry Caterpillar or We're Going on a Bear hunt or Rosie's Walk (used purpose made cards for the story)
      • Stage 2-3 Focused on creating a program to represent a narrative they created.
      Individual learning intentions and success criteria were co-constructed with each stage.

      Parents involvement

      Resources used across all grades
      Created plastic 4x4 grid mats
      Templates for their story and coding
      Story cards from The Learning Exchange - Bear walk , Rosies Walk and The Hungry Caterpillar
      Blue-bots (18)

      Part 2 coming soon

      Thursday, 1 March 2018

      Introducing the new Science and Technology K-6 Syllabus

      CEDP Schools were introduced to the new Science and Technology K-6 Syllabus (2017) in a 30 minute webinar.

      A recording of the webinar is here:

      The new syllabus will be fully implemented in 2019 with familiarisation and professional learning support by CEDP in 2018.

      Professional learning support will be available for two teachers per school.  Details will be provided by Need to Know.

      Links to the main documents supporting this syllabus:

      Slides from the webinar:

      Sunday, 25 February 2018

      Leading Learners explore POPUP Science & Technology hub


      On Friday 16th February a Pop Up STEM learning space provided Parramatta Diocesan Learning Leaders, Teaching educators and specialist teachers with some hands on learning experiences designed to introduce them to the new Science & Technology K-6 Syllabus which also incorporates the new Australian Curriculum:Digital Technologies.

      The installation provided opportunities to explore the following inquiry questions suitable for a Stage 3 classroom,
      • How can electrical energy be transmitted and/or transferred? 
      • What types of energy transformations can v be observed Electrical -> light, sound, 
      • How can electricity be used in a product or system ?

      Some of the inquiry focussed activities included: 
      • Designing and testing electric circuits using batteries, lights and switches 
      • Constructing simple circuits using Makey Makey and Scratch and testing the conductivity of various everyday materials. 
      • Programming Ozobots including colour coding and choreographing a Winter Olympics Ice Dance entry. 

      A great deal of fun was evident, as were high levels of engagement, collaborative problem solving and task persistence. In a follow up professional learning meeting, we then discussed the syllabus and implications for our work, including the implications for our shared work in supporting literacy,numeracy and inquiry pedagogies eg PBL being implemented in our primary schools. A special thanks to the team from our Parramatta Diocesan Learning Exchange and our Science team for providing a stimulating introduction to the new syllabus.

      Friday, 20 October 2017

      STEM Kits, books and other resources

      The latest ebooks and books we have available on STEM for our teachers and students

      A list of the resources available to borrow from LEX. We also have a taster kit for school to try out one of each STEM device.  The taster kit can be borrowed for 1-2 weeks.

      A handy way of charging all your STEM equipment is via a multi-port USB charger.  This is the charger we have bought for charging spheros, blue bots etc. 

      Wednesday, 30 August 2017

      OLN Lawson Tech Girls are Superheroes - 2107 App Launch

      On Monday August 21st,  at Our Lady of the Nativity, Lawson two teams of Tech Girls launched their apps - their entries in the Tech Girls are SuperHeroes Competition for 2017. The girls, who are Stage 3 students, celebrated at the school assembly with the school community and and at a special morning tea in the library with invited guests and their families.  Special guests included Trish Doyle, NSW MP for the Blue Mountains and Greg Whitby, Executive Director, Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta.   

      At the launch,  the girls shared the app they had designed to engage others within in their own local community with finding solutions to global issues. As part of the curriculum, the girls design their app using App Inventor and also develop a business plan and a video pitch.  The teams were supported throughout the projects by their Teacher Librarian Maree Crawford. Additional assistance included 2 female Mentors from Accenture Technology and one of theDads, Joshua McKinnon. the students used Skype to connect with their mentors weekly- a very appropriate way the students can overcome the barrier of distance from Sydney.

      We wish to congratulate both of this year's teams who entered the Tech Girls are Superheroes competitions. Preview their entries in the videos below

      FIGURES OF HOPE: Lillie, Mikayla and Bridgette addressed homelessness and ways to provide support.

      OUTSHINE THE SUN:  Chelsea, Gabe and Lizzy. Their app was concerned with finding solutions to climate change

      "Outshine the Sun" App Team and planning

      In undertaking this challenge students have developed skills and knowledge from the current NSW Design and Technology K-6 syllabus. They have also developed a broad range of contemporary learning skills - including communication and collaboration, personal and social capability, creative and critical thinking, ICT capability . The photos show some of their ideation phase as well as planning their interface design.

      We are very excited to announce that the "Outshine the Sun" team are NSW State finalists for the Primary Section in 2017. This is the second year the students of Our Lady of Nativity have reached the finals. Last year their team scored second place. We wish them success at the NSW Techgirls are Superheroes Showcase to be held at Darling Harbour later this week.

      Monday, 20 February 2017

      Technology at Kirinari - Xavier College

      Blue Bots, Makey Makey and Little Bits are highly engaging tools in the classroom. 

      Students at Kirinari - Xavier College were able to practise a variety of skills and achieve multiple outcomes utilising these STEM technologies. 
      This includes - 
      • communication
      • teamwork in pairs
      • problem solving
      • leadership skills
      • listening skills and following instructions from their partner
      • story telling and writing
      Every student displayed resilience, perseverance and determination as they were participating in each task. The tasks were open-ended and, often, student-driven. All of the students were engaged throughout the various activities. And they all had fun!