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Robot Obstacle Course

What it is: Robot Obstacle Course is an excellent introduction into programming for young kids.  Students are presented with an obstacle course made up of colored blocks and keys.  Students must program the robot to jump over the obstacles and pick up the keys to complete the course.  Through the obstacle course, students are introduced to basic programming language and learn how to think like a programmer.  The obstacles get progressively more difficult and more variables are added. How to integrate Robot Obstacle Course into the classroom: Robot Obstacle Course is a fun way for students to get an introduction to programming skills.  The Obstacle Course includes a lot of logical/mathematical thinking as they decide which variables to adjust to get the robot through the course.  For students younger than third grade, consider completing the courses as a class using a projector connected computer or interactive whiteboard.  Talk through each problem and ask students to offer possible solutions before you test out your robot.  For older students (third through fifth grade) the courses can be completed independently on classroom computers or in a computer lab setting.  As students test solutions, discuss why the solution works, or how the solution should be adjusted for the robot to preform successfully. Tips: This game will put students observational skills to the test!  If you don’t have time for a full game, this is a great thinking activity for those few extra transition minutes in the classroom, project the activity on the board and if they are ready for the transition (for example lining up) they can come up to the board and test their solution on the way to the line. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Robot Obstacle Course in your classroom.

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Project PLN November Issue: Sharing issue

Posted by admin | Posted in inspiration, professional development, Project PLN, Teacher Resources | Posted on 29-11-2012

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I’m a little behind this week (actually this year has been one big game of playing catch-up).  Last week, Nick and I published the latest issue of Project PLN.  It is worth reading through, it gave me just the right jolt of inspiration to tackle some of the catch-up project that have been on the outskirts for too long.  I hope it does the same for you!  You should know, right now I am giving myself giant pats on the back for posting the November issue here BEFORE December.  Sometimes it is the little things that keep you going :)

Here in the US we are polishing off the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers.  Luckily those things that we are thankful for linger much longer than the turkey.   You know what we are thankful for?  Our PLN!  You all are truly incredible.  We are so thankful for the ways that you share with us (and educators around the world).  A BIG thank you to all of our contributors for the November Sharing Issue. We wouldn’t be able to do this without you. That is the truth!

This issue is jam-packed full of great lesson ideas(grammar can be fun, Count of Monte Cristo on trial!), helpful techy tips (great Google Chrome extensions), inspiration to keep plugging ahead, and much more!  Take some time to relax and be inspired this week. Consider this issue a big THANK YOU for all that you do for education every day.

We are now accepting submissions for the March Issue. We have decided to label it the “Innovation Issue”. We want to dedicate this issue to creative/innovative ideas in education and in classrooms.  What are you doing in your school/classroom that others should be?  What needs to change?  What adjustments must be made to allow room for this innovation?

If you think you have something awesome to share, please send an email to ProjectPLN10@gmail.com and we will add it to the March Issue. Please follow the guidelines for submissions below so we can quickly and easily load your posts to the site.

Please email the article or link to the article to ProjectPLN10@gmail.com

Please include a small bio that includes your blog, Twitter handle and other information you would like to share. A picture is encouraged, but not required.

It may be a piece you have published on your blog already. A good idea is still a good idea even if you had it a few months ago.

Please submit posts by Monday March 4. We expect for the issue to go live on Tuesday March 12.

Thanks again for all of the support you have given Project PLN over the years.

Have an awesome school year,

Kelly  and Nick

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