I am lucky enough to have 2 Sphero SPRK robots in my classroom. Recently, we got them out to participate in the Hour of Code. My students had two opportunities to try Sphero out and test their coding skills. Using the robots is fun enough on its own, but I decided to step it up a little bit and add in some extra details! We also practiced retelling one of our favorite stories with a bit of a coding twist!
What you’ll need:
The first thing we did was create a grid on one of our classroom rugs with Colorful Masking Tape. We were working on retelling stories and so I challenged my students to use paper arrows to help get the Gingerbread Man through the grid and to stay away from the fox! I placed the characters from the story into different boxes on the grid and then let my students work their way through as they placed the arrows. They then took the Gingerbread Man and tested out their path to determine if it worked or not. We used Sphero (posing as the Gingerbread Man) later to follow the path and I forgot to get a picture of that!! 😦 The best thing about this grid is that its still stuck on our rug! My students begged that I leave it on the rug so they could use it again and even with all of us walking on it each day, its still there!
Next, we used some more Colorful Masking Tape to create a bowling alley! I taped off a section of the floor with red tape and then added in some white tape to show where the pins should go (and to create an “x” for my students to stand on). My students set up the pins from the Small Bowling set on the white lines and started bowling! They loved trying to see how many pins they could knock down. We played just like real bowling, they got two chances to knock down the pins, but we did not keep score. Eventually, we will add the number of pins knocked down in each turn together as we work on adding to ten, but for now, we are just exploring! We also left our bowling alley taped to the floor and we cover it with the rug (from above) when we are not using it. So far, the Colorful Masking Tape has not left any residue on the carpet, so our housekeepers will be happy!
Finally, to make things a little more challenging, I set up an obstacle course with Colorful Traffic Cones for my students to maneuver the Sphero through. To begin, we set up a simple in and out weaving pattern. Later, we added in a turn to the in and out pattern and that made it a little more difficult, so we will be practicing that for a little longer!
These ideas could be used with any robot that you might have or if you don’t have any “bots”, you can always have your students “program” each other through the challenges!
At the French Lick Blogger meet-up, I was LUCKY enough to win a HUE Flexible Tablet Stand! As much as I LOVE the stand my husband made for me from PVC pipes, I love this Tablet Stand much more! Its moveable and flexible and that has allowed me to share tasks with my students from a wider angle.
I had so much fun taking pictures of the Flexible Tablet Stand! It holds my iPad so well, I have no worries about it falling out of the stand. I LOVE the fact that the holder grips my iPad and allows me to turn my iPad from portrait to landscape and back with out moving a thing, just a quick turn holding the corner! It feels like I’m in an episode of CSI or something with the slick way that the iPad can swivel! 🙂
I use my iPad everyday with the Reflector2 app and now I can bend and flex the HUE Tablet Stand (as you can see in the above photos) so it’s right with me! When I sit on my stool, I can use my iPad as a document camera where my students are able to see the entire top of the desk it is attached to! A big improvement over the 8 1/2 x 11 space we are used to! I can also bend the VERY flexible neck to the opposite side of the desk, so that I can control what I’m showing on my Promethean Board without leaving my students!
The HUE Flexible Tablet Stand attached in under 2 minutes–just a simple twist of the tightening grip that’s attached and you are in business!
I’m so excited to show you this next idea too! Check this out! 🙂 After the French Lick Blogger Meet-up, I had the opportunity to contact HUE and was able to review their HUE Document Camera.
I wanted to make a video to show you how it works, so guess what I used?? 🙂 I used the HUE Tablet Stand and attached it in seconds to my lime green stool. I used my iPad to capture us checking out our tadpoles! Make sure you check out minute 6:11 for an up-close look at our tadpoles. 🙂
All I needed to use the HUE Document Camera was a long USB cable (I only needed this because my teacher station is on the other side of my classroom)–the HUE comes with one that would be plenty long if your teacher station is nearby. 🙂
I used Skype to show the live feed on my Promethean Board, but you can also use the HUE Intuition Software.
Once again, after about two minutes, the HUE Document Camera was up and running!
I LOVED the flexible neck (as you’ll see in the video!). It made it INCREDIBLY easy to show our tadpoles from different angles–we captured a bigger tadpole eating the “stuff” left from one that died–totally gross, but my kids loved it! 🙂 You can bend the neck literally and direction and focus it quickly with the focus knob right around the camera lens. It couldn’t be easier to use!
I’m working on two more ideas that I will use the HUE Document Camera for–when our chicken eggs hatch on May 2nd, “Chick Cam” will let us see what’s happening in the incubator. I will set the HUE Document Camera on our incubator and let the children watch as the chicks hatch.
We also plan on Skyping with some of our virtual Kindergarten friends and between the HUE Tablet Stand and the HUE Document Camera, we will be able to see them, read a book with them, and they will be able to see us! 🙂
The HUE Document Camera has a built in LED light that will help you see what you’re showing your students. My classroom has funky lighting, so I always need an extra lamp to show things on the Promethean Board, but when our classroom lights are on, the HUE Document Camera’s light was plenty bright. 🙂
Click anywhere above to get yourself a HUE Tablet Stand or a HUE Document Camera–you won’t be disappointed with either! 🙂
All of the opinions expressed in this post are my own and were not influenced by any company, person or by payment. Product was received in exchange for this review.