Cooperative Creative Collaboration!

In week 3 Kinder Red joined their BeePals in 3/4E to use their creative thinking caps! We gave our BeePals our thoughts and opinions on how the cooperative Bee-Bot games should be played. We discussed rules, themes and visual art designs. The collaborative discussions went on through the afternoon and the design process began with our prototypes.

this is what a prototype looks like

this is what a prototype looks like

collaborate-prototype2

another prototype

Jack D, Dom and buddy discuss their game

Jack D, Dom and buddy discuss their game

Kinder students are very capable at working together in cooperative groups. We do this everyday! It is amazing though, that Kinder Red has been able to use their higher-order thinking skills and creativity to collaborate extensively with our Stage 2 friends. We have appreciated design, problem-solved, discussed and accepted varying opinions within our small groups and used higher-order thinking to assist with the holistic development of these board games that will inevitably be used by both classes with the BeeBot robots to integrate with our COGs units, “Healthy Choices” and “Our Needs.”

collaborate-coopah

cooperating and collaborating

collaborate-isabella

Kindergarten can be very creative

collaborate-eliza

Eliza makes cards for their board game

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Students use algebraic thinking to design computer games

Designing online computer games is not easy! It requires the use of algebraic thinking. Algebraic thinking is about generalising arithmetic operations and operating on unknown quantities.  It involves recognising and analysing patterns and developing generalisations about these patterns.

Research shows that students can more easily understand algebra when they have a good knowledge of the general properties of numbers, the relationships among numbers, and the effect that basic operations have on numbers rather than just having a focus on finding an answer.  Many of these concepts are best taught at a young age because misconceptions which develop early on can inhibit a student’s ability to work with symbols and generalisations at a later time.

The language of arithmetic focuses on answers while the language of algebra focuses on relationships.1

Last term, 3/4E learnt how to use algebraic thinking skills  to design Scratch games for their Kindergarten friends. Today, Nick L showed us his latest game: a 2-player Pong game. Watch the video where Mrs Birleson plays to win!

Nick’s Beebot Scratch Game.

 1 MacGregor, M & Stacey, K. (1999) “A flying start to algebra. Teaching Children Mathematics, 6/2, 78-86.  Retrieved 17 May 2005 from http://staff.edfac.unimelb.edu.au/~Kayecs/publications/1999/MacGregorStacey-AFlying.pdf.

2 Assessment Resource Banks: English, Mathematics and Science http://arb.nzcer.org.nz/supportmaterials/maths/concept_map_algebraic.php