Madelyn Healy▸ U2: Algorithms & Programming

Strategies for encouraging students to either collaborate or explain their thinking/understanding in programming are vital in the primary classroom. Our class first explored visual programming through the use of the hour of code resources. Once we had developed foundational skills and understands we then moved on to using Scratch to design programs. Whilst we were using the hour of code resources, students engaged in pair programming. Eventually we wanted to move away from this as some students were relying too heavily on their partner and other students required extension within the area. Hence, we have now moved to apply a speed conference strategy when using Scratch. At the beginning of our session we create random pairings within the class using a name randomizer. The two students then meet before opening Scratch to discuss their goals for that particular session. References are made to their flowcharts to determine what part of the process they are up to. Students then move off to their individual computer. At designated intervals through the session, the teach sounds a timer which is a signal for the pairs to meet again mid programming. During this 3 minute minutes, students share their ideas, assist with debugging, test out their programs and shared ideas. A checklist of focus questions is given to direct this conversation. This happen 2-3 times during a session. #cserTask1

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