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RoboBlockly for Learning Math and Coding

Teacher's Notes for Coding Activities with RoboBlockly:

How to Use RoboBlockly Activities in your Classroom


What is the purpose of RoboBlockly?

In RoboBlockly, students program a robot using a user-friendly drag-and-drop method. Students will complete basic problem solving to move a robot or multiple robots.

RoboBlockly is built to allow students to work at their own pace, but in general each problem should take approximately 5 minutes to complete each activity. We encourage you to give students additional time if needed or make it clear that they don't need to finish the entire set of activities during one class session.


General Computer Usage Requirements

Technology Requirements: Any modern browser on computers, laptops, tables, or smartphones with any type of operating system.

It is important to know that every browser functions differently. We encourage you to test RoboBlockly on the computers you will have students using before implementation. Please test out the following: audio and video streaming quality, default browser specific mechanisms for saving blocks and saving Ch code, etc. all so you are better able to support your students. Make sure that pop ups have been enabled on all computers.

You may wish to provide headphones or ask students to bring headphones to allow students to independently watch tutorial videos.


Prepare yourself

Go through the activities yourself so that you are familiar with what your students will be experiencing. The Teacher Resource Packet contains all the activities and solutions for the pathway. Please note that the activities build on previous activities in each pathways such that students may need to complete some or all activities prior to the activity selected.

  1. Determine the purpose for students using RoboBlockly:

    • To support student learning in Math,
    • To support student learning in Computer Programming,
    • To support student learning in Robotics.

  2. Based on your purpose, determine what additional resources your students will need for instruction. We do not recommend using RoboBlockly to introduce a mathematical concept but to rather use it for skill building or as a culminating performance task.

    Use as skill building: We recommend that you provide your students with a worksheet that includes important related definitions, work space, leading questions, etc. and encourage your students to refer to their class notes which cover these topics.

    Use as a culminating performance task: Carefully select which activity directly relates to the content you have taught, making note that the previous activities may be necessary to complete to build prior knowledge.


Prepare your students

Help students get excited about RoboBlockly by inspiring students and discussing how computer science impacts every part of our lives. As a class, list things that use code in everyday life, or discuss different ways technology impacts our lives etc.

When using RoboBlockly in class, first demonstrate to students how to navigate and use the RoboBlockly website. There are five Video Tutorials, along with a self-guided interactive non-video tutorial which should be used to help familiarize your students with the different functionalities of RoboBlockly. Helping students understand the functionality of RoboBlockly and which elements can be manipulated in which manners is very important to ensuring your students have full access to the content.


Teacher Resources:


Pre-requisite Skills:

Math

  • Number Sense - addition and subtraction with positive whole numbers.
  • Algebra:
    • Solving basic equations.
  • Geometry:
    • Coordinate plane, all problems are completed on a coordinate plane. Students need to be comfortable understanding how to count, graph, and locate coordinates on a grid.
    • Properties of basic Geometric shapes: circle, rectangle, squares and triangles.

Computer

  • Basic computer skills:
    • Drag and drop using a mouse
    • Key boarding
    • Navigating a web browser
    • Zoom In/Out in a browser
    • Disabling or enabling pop-up windows
    • Adjusting volume for videos


Extension

Using hardwired robots, Linkbot Controller, RoboSim or Robot Controller to execute programs built in RoboBlockly.

All can be downloaded from the UC Davis C-STEM Center's webpage: http://c-stem.ucdavis.edu/downloads/