I was thrilled to get the chance to work on some coding centers with a second grade class, and so impressed with their persistence and hard work.
The kids got a lot of practice with addition, measurement, algorithmic thinking and even a little storytelling.
These would be great centers to try out any time this winter.
MaterialsFor the centers, you'll need:
- At least 6 sets of Dash and Dot Robots
- Launcher accessories
- Plow accessories
- Ping Pong Balls
- Bunny ears accessories (for Dot)
- 4-5 Ozobots
- Large sheets of paper
- Black, Red, Green and Blue markers
- Cotton balls
- Painter's or Masking Tape
Center 1: Winter Activities with Scratch JRIn this center students create a winter scene in Scratch JR and then write about their favorite activity using the speech bubble or audio record feature in the program.
I like this basic tutorial from Paul Hamilton about how to use Scratch JR:
Here's an example of a program a student wrote about being in school:
Center 2: Santa's VillageFor this simple center, students explore many of the different coding activities on Google's Santa Tracker site. Here they can check into art, games, and basic block coding activities.
Center 3: Snowball ThrowFor this challenge, students code Dash to launch "snowballs" (ping pong balls) through Dot's bunny ears. They should work in partners with one partner acting as a timer and score keeper while the other partner gets 1 minute to try to get as many points as possible. Each time a ball goes through or over Dot's ears, they earn 2 points. Once they get the hang out of how the launcher works, encourage students to try to use the automatic reload feature and to program Dash to "sneak" up on Dot by moving in from different directions and turning.
Center 4: Winter SceneWith this center you will need Ozobots, markers and paper. Students should draw a simple winter scene for the Ozobot to "explore" and use the different colors to achieve different effects like speeding up and slowing down.
Center 5: Snow PlowFor this center it's nice to have at least two simple mazes made up of straightaways and right angles. If you have groups of four, it's also nice for each student to have their own Dash to test their program ideas. Explain to students that Dash is automatically set to go 50 cm for each move forward block. Then show them how they can change that variable. Encourage students to measure the straights so they know how far they should program Dash to go for each distance.
Check out the directions here: