Ideas about introducing Snap to third graders

Can anyone give me some ideas about how to start? I'm new at this and have 12 Finch robots that I want to introduce to my third graders.

Hi! Welcome to the community.

What you do will depend on why you're doing it. Teach computer science? Teach math?

A second question is, do you have the original Finch or the new model? It matters because the first version had the terrible bug that you can't place a pen at the rotation center of the device, so you can't do turtle graphics with it.

Probably the best thing to do with a robot is to build a maze and program the robot to find its way through, using touch sensors to detect walls.

Anyway, tell us more about what you're after.

I teach math and science so I'm pretty flexible with the curriculum. Also, I have the original version and I am unaware of the bug you are referring to. Can you give me more info. Additionally, I have a student who is in our LIfe Skills class that is pretty low functioning. Does anyone have any suggestions about how to adapt using the robots and coding to his ability. I already have him working with a partner. I'm just started out with this and basically teaching myself so all the information that I can get to help my students would be greatly appreciated.

The Finch has a little vertical dent in the back where you're supposed to tape a sharpie to draw as the robot moves. But the right thing is for the pen to be at the rotation center of the robot -- in this case, on the line between the wheels. Because it isn't, the pen will draw while the Finch is turning. Try

repeat 4
move 100 steps
turn 90 degrees

and see what it draws. (It should be a square, as it is on the screen.)

For your low functioning student, BirdBrain's version of :sn: has selectable levels that hide some of the more complex features. So the first level might be a good choice.

Because of the pen bug, activities that involve drawing on paper on the floor aren't a good choice. Instead, go for activities based on sensing the environment. The paradigmatic activity is navigating a maze with touch sensors, but an easier one is to draw a racetrack on the floor and use light sensors to keep the Finch on the track, by steering a little when one side gets off track.

Thanks so much. We are already using level one as a class. Is there someway that I can change to level one directly from the Berkeley website? When I open Snap it's too high of a level.

The version of :sn: that you load from the Finch software is different from the one you load from our site. They specially modified it to have those levels. So you'd have to ask them for help with that. Sorry!

Thanks for your help. Do you know if there is somewhere that I can access lessons that are already developed for the Finch Robots using Snap Level one?

Sorry, I don't know -- try the BirdBrain web site and ask them that!

Thank you!

When you suggested repeat 4, move 100 steps, turn 90 degrees...what program were you using? I'm using Snap Level 1. Thanks

Oh, I don't really know about their restricted levels. I just go right to the full :sn: with the Finch.

I guess they have curriculum ideas to go with each level, so check that out on their site.

They're also good about answering email.