Daz wilde
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Staring a coding club - Primary Ages

Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:58 pm

Hi everyone, i'm starting a coding club at one of the schools I work at. Its just for an hour at lunch and an hour after school, it will be for ages 7-11.

School tell me they have used scratch before but want to get more into raspberry pi's and the gpio side of things.

I'm thinking of maybe starting out with scratch and testing the water with them and then maybe progressing to python with the pi's.
I'm really new to this myself, but seem to have more knowledge than the teaching staff.

If anyone has any advice on where to start, maybe basic coding or nice little projects I could use the pi with that would be great.


Thanks in advance!!

(I tried the burping jelly baby myself the other week which worked a treat so anything like this would be great! :D )

Abi.grady
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Re: Staring a coding club - Primary Ages

Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:50 pm

I'm currently in the same boat! Any help on projects for a beginners club in a primary school would be great :)

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DougieLawson
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Re: Staring a coding club - Primary Ages

Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:41 am

Have you all failed to find https://www.raspberrypi.org/education/?
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Daz wilde
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Re: Staring a coding club - Primary Ages

Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:43 pm

DougieLawson wrote:Have you all failed to find https://www.raspberrypi.org/education/?
I've seen the education resources but wondered if anyone had advice on progressing through the easy steps to difficult projects..
For instance some year 3 pupils won't be able to cope with year 6 projects..

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clive
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Re: Staring a coding club - Primary Ages

Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:44 pm

Have you looked at Code Club? https://www.codeclub.org.uk/

If you just want to try out some of our materials, you can access two sample projects from each course without logging in. https://www.codeclubprojects.org/en-GB/

Forris
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Re: Staring a coding club - Primary Ages

Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:02 am

Daz wilde wrote: I've seen the education resources but wondered if anyone had advice on progressing through the easy steps to difficult projects..
For instance some year 3 pupils won't be able to cope with year 6 projects..
I think you may find otherwise! If this is a extra-curricular club, as opposed to a standard lesson, then it will consist of kids that want to be there and have an interest in the subject, and some may even have some experience already.

I'm in a similar position. My son's primary school has acquired a single Pi through a film festival that they entered last year, and the IT teacher is very keen to get more and set up a designated Pi / maker area, but knows nothing about the Pi and how to implement it. As a parent, I've been playing with Pi's since they first launched and am lucky enough to have a job that leaves my afternoons free, so I volunteered to do a show & tell for the school's Digital Leader group (10 kids from Yrs 3 - 6) and a couple of teachers, in which I made up 4 simple projects ( LED dice, reaction game, level crossing with traffic lights & barrier, and an ultrasonic sensor module ) all coded in Scratch. I have since run 2 lunchtime sessions for this group, which involved talking them through bread-boarding a simple circuit with 2 buttons & 2 leds in the first session, and coding this into a reaction game, using Scratch, in the second. They went fantastically well, and the kids were keen to do more, and are also planning an assembly so that they can tell the rest of the school about what they are doing!

I plan to run 2 more double sessions between now and the end of the school year, and in September I intend to start an after-school club in Physical Computing. Baring in mind that I am not a teacher, some of the things that I have discovered are;

It's very tiring! This came as quite a shock to me (I can hear teachers everywhere laughing!), especially as the session were only 40 minutes, although we did cram a lot in, as these were intended to 'test the waters' to see if there would be any interest, as opposed to being in-depth lessons.

The students, especially as they are there voluntarily, will be keen to learn and experiment. I was specifically told not to be afraid to use complex terms and jargon, as long as I explained what they meant, as the teacher is keen on them learning the correct terminology. I actually had an interesting conversation with the Headmistress after I asked whether I should use the male/female terminology when referring to cables, and she had no hesitation in saying that I definitely should use it if that is how they are referred to!

If you're not sure where to go with the lessons or are short of ideas - ask the kids! They are used to brainstorming and discussing ideas in class, and I guarantee they will come up with stuff that you hadn't thought of, or had dismissed as too difficult.

Try to get some of the other teachers to come to your sessions. Not only will this help them learn about the subject, it will also give them a frame of reference that they can use in class, and they might also come up with ideas that would integrate what you're doing with the rest of the curriculum.

The main thing is, DO IT!!

Will50
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Re: Staring a coding club - Primary Ages

Thu May 12, 2016 10:05 pm

I'm going to be running my first computing club session in a library in a couple of weeks and I've been thinking about ways of evoking interest. One option is a MeArm, a robotic arm that costs ~£30 and can be controlled through a Raspberry Pi. Another alternative I've looked at is hacking the controller of a ~£15 RC car by shorting the switches with photocouplers. I had controlled through the Raspberry Pi ScratchGPIO.
Good luck!

Daz wilde
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Re: Staring a coding club - Primary Ages

Fri May 13, 2016 10:36 am

Will50 wrote:I'm going to be running my first computing club session in a library in a couple of weeks and I've been thinking about ways of evoking interest. One option is a MeArm, a robotic arm that costs ~£30 and can be controlled through a Raspberry Pi. Another alternative I've looked at is hacking the controller of a ~£15 RC car by shorting the switches with photocouplers. I had controlled through the Raspberry Pi ScratchGPIO.
Good luck!

Wow these sound interesting.... wouldn't mind knowing about both those projects if you have any source code or instructions on what you did.

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procount
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Re: Staring a coding club - Primary Ages

Fri May 13, 2016 11:17 am

I recommend the CamJam Edukit #3 robotic kit. Only £17, so about the same price as the R/C car hack, but also has ultrasonic sensor and line detector.
At a recent Raspberry Jam we had 3 running around the floor. See twitter @StaffordRJam for photos.
PINN - NOOBS with the extras... https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=142574

triciabellasario
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Re: Staring a coding club - Primary Ages

Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:53 pm

More specifically if I ask, what sort of coding is required for Raspberry Pi?

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PeterO
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Re: Staring a coding club - Primary Ages

Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:56 pm

As far as I know there is currently no PI content in the Code Club projects.

PeterO
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Interests: C,Python,PIC,Electronics,Ham Radio (G0DZB),1960s British Computers.
"The primary requirement (as we've always seen in your examples) is that the code is readable. " Dougie Lawson

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B.Goode
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Re: Staring a coding club - Primary Ages

Sat Aug 06, 2016 2:31 pm

triciabellasario wrote:More specifically if I ask, what sort of coding is required for Raspberry Pi?
The Raspberry Pi products are among the most flexible and unconstrained devices you will encounter. You can choose from a range of Operating Systems - many based on gnu/Linux but also including RiscOs and Win10IoT. There are very few coding languages that can not be used to program an RPi. So it is not really possible to say that any specific sort of coding is 'required.'

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PeterO
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Re: Staring a coding club - Primary Ages

Sat Aug 06, 2016 3:57 pm

B.Goode wrote:
triciabellasario wrote:More specifically if I ask, what sort of coding is required for Raspberry Pi?
The Raspberry Pi products are among the most flexible and unconstrained devices you will encounter. You can choose from a range of Operating Systems - many based on gnu/Linux but also including RiscOs and Win10IoT. There are very few coding languages that can not be used to program an RPi. So it is not really possible to say that any specific sort of coding is 'required.'
The question was about Code Club specifically (look which forum it is in).

PeterO
Discoverer of the PI2 XENON DEATH FLASH!
Interests: C,Python,PIC,Electronics,Ham Radio (G0DZB),1960s British Computers.
"The primary requirement (as we've always seen in your examples) is that the code is readable. " Dougie Lawson

insanityideas
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Re: Staring a coding club - Primary Ages

Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:59 pm

Daz wilde wrote:
DougieLawson wrote:Have you all failed to find https://www.raspberrypi.org/education/?
I've seen the education resources but wondered if anyone had advice on progressing through the easy steps to difficult projects..
For instance some year 3 pupils won't be able to cope with year 6 projects..

I have been volunteering with CodeClub for a few years now. When I have had mixed ability groups I have ended up using worksheets from different parts of the codeclub curriculum in the same "lesson". For example the scratch Term 1 stuff is great for beginners, Term 2 is more difficult etc. It does make things a bit more complicated, especially as I like to introduce the concepts they will be encountering on the worksheet, which you can't do so well if actually in the class 3 different worksheets will be in play.

However I would far rather have all the children engaged in something which challenges them and is appropriate for their individual abilities than try to keep everyone on a single activity. This has become more the norm for me as the club I now run is not in the school environment (currently a library) so there is an element of drop-in and churn of attendees over time and a mix of age and ability.

Whilst the codeclub resources might not always be perfect, I would say that they have enough material now to cater for anything you might need to teach ability level wise. Which is great for people like me who have little to no time to prepare their own stuff. Although I do try and prepare my own little activity at the start of the lesson to get the children warmed up (like a quiz or show and tell of computer parts or projects etc).

The only thing with codeclub resources is you do have to set up your club on their system before you can view them, which causes a bit of chicken-and-egg for new clubs, but I totally understand why they have done that.

Regarding progressing children I think the biggest hurdle is moving from something drag and drop like scratch to typing instructions in like on python or sonic pi. Mainly because young children type very slowly and make many spelling errors, this can stunt their enthusiasm very quickly as it takes a long time to get something that works going. Sonic pi can get them to making sounds very quickly, but it is a bit limited if they don't like music. I would say that sonic pi is a good intermediate step before doing python, simply because it gets them used to writing out programs and dealing with syntax errors in a more user friendly interface.

If you have any specific questions I am happy to answer them here or via private message. The more codeclub volunteers the merrier. !!

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