I have been approached by teachers from a couple of grade levels looking for ways to extend geometry units for their higher students. The Probots are a fantastic way to integrate coding and computational thinking into math units relating to measurement, angles, and shapes. I’ve done a few lessons with classes where I’ll either bring a variety of paper shapes which the student then need to measure and recreate using the Probots, or present them with a series of challenges to solve.
The typical format was a quick intro of how to work the Probots, and a period of messing around with them. The problem was that this wasn’t enough time for students to really engage with the links between the Probots and the math they were learning. There was no end goal or purpose for what they were doing.
In this Probot 2.0 learning experience, my hope is to have the Probots more integrated into the unit as a whole. Instead of the focus of the unit being the learning of properties of shapes and angles and the fun afterthought is Probots, the focus will be on trying to create a great catalogue of Probot Problems for our school’s library maker space, and as a result the students will need to develop skills and understandings related to angles and shapes.
Another sneaky goal that I have for this learning experience is to begin to create some engagement and excitement for the maker space that we have created in our library. We’re currently struggling to find the best way to bring people into the space and use it effectively. My hope is that by 1) Having classes actively creating things for the maker space to create buy-in and 2) Creating quick and easy things that students could do in the space while their class is visiting the library, it might start to bring more people into the space. Our challenge with this space is that we don’t have time in our schedules that it can be “open” and supervised for drop-ins, but it’s also not big enough to bring whole classes to without spilling into the library space.
Do you have a successful library maker space in your school that is used in interesting ways? How does it work?