I have tried visual programming before so this is how I encouraged the the students to work well together. When introducing the children to the beebots last year before getting the children to program their actual beebots. I put them in groups of 3 with 1 person writing the code, 1 person pretending to be the beebot by using enlarged squares on the floor set out in the same format as that lessons map layout and testing out the code before the last person programmed in the code to the beebot.
The person that was the beebot could only follow the instructions and not speak until they had finished following the code.
When finished they were able to discuss with their group what they found tricky to understand and if they had identified any mistakes in the code. The children then worked together to rectify any errors. The group then rotated around the different roles.
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- Katrina Falkner: I love the idea of students pretending to be the beebot! That’s a lovely way to focus on debugging and testing as a task in its own. Too often, students (and adults!) want to jump straight into programming their robots, or in their visual programming systems, so it’s great to see an activity which helps focus on the algorithm first!
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