Ideas, Thoughts, Things, & Awesome Things to Look Into
From the Elementary Computer Lab
Thingiverse is where my educational designs live. I began publishing this summer as part of the MakerBot Certifications Level 1 User and Level 2 Curriculum Creator. There exists a lot of manipulatives to make for the lower grades, but there are not many lessons that the kids themselves can create, and there are even fewer organized STEM lessons for this age group.
To search all of the designs at Thingiverse: http://www.thingiverse.com/
To view my files go here: https://www.thingiverse.com/Heather_M_Miller/designs
I saw the Turing Tumble a while back on Kickstarter. I went ahead and ordered a personal copy of the "game" for me with the intention of evaluating it for possible use in my elementary computer lab, probably as a station. Of course, as many Kickstarter projects, it seemed to take forever. But, the makers kept in contact via email, and it finally arrived. The unboxing was pleasant, and easy, which means the packages were easy to open and intuitive. After playing around with this for about two hours, my son (4 years old) and I got through puzzle 10. He has no idea (well maybe a little idea) what is going on with the switches, and is learning to attach the green switches properly. It is marketed for kids MUCH older than he is, so it is interesting watching him figure it out. He is delighted hearing the marbles drop and the switches switch.
As for my classes, I'm thinking this is going to be a great station in the 4th and 5th grade classes. I would never do this as a station with the PreK-2nd graders because there are a ton of pieces, they are fragile, and there is simply too much reading. The reading of the book is critical to actually understanding at a basic level what is going on. Otherwise, it's an expensive, fragile Marble Run. To get the logic and computer lessons out of this, the kids will have to read and experiment.
Note. I received no product or compensation for this evaluation. I supported the Kickstarter program and received this product through that support.
Heather M. Miller
This is a space where I post my thoughts on things and ideas in the Computer Lab. I am a K-12 certified Engineering and Technology teacher. I'm writing this for myself and my colleagues as part of my own teaching practice day-to-day, and for my own self reflection.