Friday, February 14, 2020

Coding with Year 7 - Lesson 1

I have been preparing for my coding lessons with my new Year 7 class this year. I wrote a blog post here about how i was going to be looking at Algorithms.

Our first lesson was today, and after  we all got on my new website, found the work and I had given them a brief description of what an algorithm is, we all went into the carpark to try some out.


  • They got into small groups and decided who was the programmer and who were the robots.
  • Instruction 1 - The programmer had to give their robots one instruction and watch them do it then give them another and so on.
  • Instruction 2 - The same as one but they had to give two instructions.
  • Instruction 3 - They have to give 3 instructions bit include more details like direction and how long or how many.
  • Instruction 4 - They have to give 5 instructions, include details, one has to be sound, one movement in a line, one a dance movement
  • The programmer had to give the "algorithms" and the robots had to listen and remember a sequence of instructions.
We then got on with the rest of the prepared lesson as it is on the class site. We didn't get as far as I had planned as we spent a little more time playing in the carpark than I intended.

Things to note for next time :-
Check the mBots are charged - we had a couple of flat ones today
Check the boxes all have 6 in them - there was one with 3 today
The link to a copy of the presentation worked well and saved time.
They all got online fast and found the site and work very efficiently.



Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Preparing for my first Year 7 Coding Lesson

I have my first coding lesson with a year 7 class on Friday.
I have had some experience of teaching coding last year to a Year 8 class last year where we were making an mBot robot follow a black line using sensors.
Blog post 1     Blog post 2
With this, I was using the planning of Mr Dunn as he had been doing this with other Year 7 and 8 classes.
This is my first year planning for it myself.

To start with, I am going to talk to my Year 7 group about what an ALGORITHM is. We will relate it to real life things that they know about and my example will be knitting.

Input - the wool, the algorithm - the knitting pattern, output - a jumper.

This table is what we will fill in with everyday examples. Link to Google Drawing here.


Then we will move on to having a bit of a play with the mBots and a first go at using the mBlock software.
This is the link to my site where I have put all of the activities for this.
The activities are listed on the drop down under Y7 and Y8, coding.




This is the presentation with the first coding activity for the mBot. We are making coloured lights.
I have set it up so it is very visual (I am a graphics / design teacher!!) and so they have to put evidence of their work and thinking as we go.
This one is very simple in order to get them used to using the mBot, the online programme and having to evidence their work with screenshots, videos and analysis of what was happening.
This needs to get more complex as they get experience so they can start deeper analysis of what they did, what happened, what went wrong and what they did to change things.

Manaiakalani Cluster Staff Meeting - Student Achievement Feedback

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

DVC NCEA 2019 External Results Analysis

I have started a results comparison spreadsheet for my DVC external results so that it is the same as my internal results analysis. Blog post here about the internals.
Link to spreadsheet here
Level 1


2019 NCEA Analysis
I have received feedback from my Year 11 class that they absolutely hated sharing the class
with the Year 12 students. It is because of this that I have asked that my Year 11 group not
be a mixed class in 2020.
Attendance and work ethic were the major issues which resulted in work being incomplete. 
To try and help this I have had PD around using workspaces from Lenva and have been
planning and setting them up for next year.
Link to workspaces label on my blog. My plan is that this will help me to keep track of the
students better over the year.



Level 2


2019 NCEA Analysis
Some of my Year 12 students did really well and produced work of a good standard.
The main problem with the boys who did not really choose DVC was confidence.
I have been doing some work with my Y13 class and a little with the Year 12’s  this
year about this and plan to transfer what I have learned into all my classes next year in
a bid to try to raise their confidence about their work.
Getting work completed has been a problem all year. 
To try and help this I have had PD around using workspaces from Lenva and have been
planning and setting them up for next year.
Link to workspaces label on my blog. My plan is that this will help me to keep track of
the students better over the year.



Level 3


2019 NCEA Analysis
Getting work completed has been a problem all year. 
To try and help this I have had PD around using workspaces from Lenva and have been
planning and setting them up for next year.
Link to workspaces label on my blog. My plan is that this will help me to keep track of the
students better over the year.
The student’s attendance in the mornings was a big problem, especially as this meant
they missed the double periods in the week.