About the Author:
Cory Roffey is a school based Instructional Coach in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He has coached in a variety of educational settings from Kindergarten to Grade Nine. He holds a MEd in Elementary Education from the University of Alberta and has a particular interest in supporting teachers as they explore educational technology and constructivist practices. You can follow Cory on twitter @coryroffey
KIBO can wear many hats… literally (with the art platforms) and figuratively J. Students can use KIBO as a tool to think with, as a platform to make and invent, and as a medium to share the knowledge and understandings they have constructed, but over the past few months I have had the privilege of working with two teachers at St. Pius X School as they explored how KIBO can strengthen cooperation and collaboration skills. After providing their kindergarten and grade one students with initial experiences working in a small group to code KIBO, the teachers noticed that not all students had their hands and minds fully engaged as they programmed. After some professional dialogue they came up with the idea of scaffolding the collaboration using ‘KIBO JOB CARDS’.
The KIBO JOB CARDS divide the ‘work’ of coding KIBO into four distinct tasks or ‘jobs’. There is the CODER who is in charge of clicking the blocks together (the whole group collaborates on what the code should be), the SCANNER who scans the actual blocks of code, the CHECKER who makes sure the green light comes on with each scan, and finally a Button PUSHER who makes sure the button is flashing green and pushes the button to run the code (they also are in charge of clapping if that block is used).
After introducing and briefly explaining each job, students were given a choice in which job they would like to begin with. If too many students chose a certain job the teacher facilitated a discussion about how they groups would be uneven and we would have too many people doing the same job. During the course of the discussion students volunteered to switch jobs and even out the groups. Once the groups were set the students went to work coding KIBO each completing their specific job. In reflection and discussion, the teachers found that the cards raised the level of engagement in the task and allowed everyone in the group to contribute to the task.
The high level of student engagement fostered by KIBO, combined with the hands on nature of the tasks and the elements of problem solving presented by the coding blocks make KIBO an excellent tool to build collaboration skills in students …and it is fun to decorate and put hats on!
About the School:
St. Pius X Elementary school is located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Our school is made up up 300+ students from age 4-12. The teachers at St. Pius regularly use coding and robotics to uncover curriculum and support students in strengthening learning competencies such as collaborating, problem solving, thinking critically etc.