Coding Dash to Bulldoze: Community Service Project
Lesson Plan for 4th Grade
Prepared by Mrs. Yandell
OVERVIEW & PURPOSE
The task for this lesson was to code Dash, mounted with the bulldozer attachment, to remove as many balls as possible from a checkered mat. Students used their knowledge of coding, angles, measuring distance and traveling on a grid to program Dash.
- ELA:SL:4.6 Follow oral multi-step instructions
- Geometry: Identifying acute, right and obtuse angles: Programming movement on a grid
- The task for this lesson was to code Dash, mounted with the bulldozer attachment, to remove as many balls as possible from a hundred's mat.
- Collaborate with other students to complete task
- Program movement on a grid
- Learn right, acute and obtuse angles
- Understand area by documenting the number of squares that contained balls compared to those that were empty
- hundreds mat
- wiffle balls
- graph paper
Steps to check for student understanding
- Was your group successful… were you able to bulldoze a lot of balls off of the grid?
- What did you learn about coding a program?
- Did you successfully code a program the first time?
- What did you do if your program had a mistake?
The task for this lesson is to code Dash, mounted with the bulldozer attachment, to remove as many balls as possible from a hundred's mat. There will be 10-12 whiffle balls on the mat and Dash can start anywhere on the perimeter of the mat (it was not allowed to start on a diagonal). Students are encouraged to integrate lights and sounds into Dash’s movements.
Students are given grid paper that shows the layout of the balls on the mat. They are told that if they programmed Dash to move 10cm, that was the equivalent of moving across one rectangle moving E & W on the grid; whereas, if they programmed Dash to move 30cm, that was the equivalent of moving across one rectangle moving N& S Across the grid. Students will plan a route for Dash on the grid paper before coding their route on the iPad app. Next students used the Blocky app to code their pathway.
Students will use their programs to present and teach the high schoolers as a community service project.
(lesson adapted by makewonder.com, by Patrick Johnson)
Lesson Recap written by Mrs. Yandell:
Let me first say… our CCS students have truly become explorers of coding! Over the past two weeks, our fourth graders have been working on an activity where they must code their smart robot to bulldoze as many pickle balls off of a grid as they can. This lesson was prepared so that our students can become more familiar with code using the Blockly app; later in the semester, they will have a community service opportunity where they teach our high schoolers how to code a program.
When I introduced this STEAM activity, a majority of the students thought it would be super easy; however, I kept reassuring that their programs must be very specific with how far to travel each block of the grid, and ensure they use the correct angle when turning their robots.
The first day, we did an unplugged lesson that allowed the students to map out and list specific steps their robot must travel on the grid. Each group was given a sheet of paper with an 8*5 rectangular grid; students were given instructions that it takes 10cm to travel across one block of the grid W to E, and 30 cm to travel across one block of the grid N to S. The next class, I allowed each group to test their programs and find which group was able to bulldoze the most balls off of the grid. The remainder of class, students were to work in their groups and debug (fix) any problems in their programs. An example of an error could be coding a right turn where a left turn was needed, or programming a 45 degree turn when it should have been a 180 degree turn. We will spend class STEAM time next week for each group's final test run!