Teaching Year 1-2

My son turned 6 this weekend. I decided to organise a Maker Party for him and his friends. Each of the x12 party goers got a small wooden robot (2D) and a Microbit. They spent the first 30 minutes decorating their robots. They *loved* this. Lots of glitter, stickers and felt tips.

Robot decorating

We then all ate some food and played some party games; pass the parcel, musical statues etc.

Then I handed each child a Microbit and some instructions that showed them (with their parent) how to make the Microbit say ‘Hello’. Nothing difficult and apart from the copying the downloaded Hex file over to the Microbit, it all went well. The next worksheet showed them how to display a smile when the A button was pressed and sad face when the B button was pressed. Again, nothing fancy but they were thrilled at what they had done. They then attached their Microbit to the robot to complete.

The Lego inspired Microbit instructions – CLICK HERE to view

Some observations:

  • This age group, on the whole, have not used a mouse and keyboard before. I guess the only computers they have used to this point have been tablets.
  • Literacy levels are relatively low so instructions have to be *super* simple. As my boy can follow his Lego instructions OK I used that style; landscape showing no more than x2 steps to follow, a single image visually showing the instruction along with the instruction itself written in simple language.
  • This age group *love* decorating, painting, stickers, drawing – making stuff. They turn to it naturally. I think that some form of creating/making in this way should be at the heart of any task given.
  • An individual activity should only last about 20-30 minutes.
  • The Microbit IDE works fine offline. It just needs to be loaded beforehand whilst connected. It works from the cache thereafter. Even the simulator works without the Internet.