Using the PrimaryConnections Science Program to Teach Technology

Using the PrimaryConnections Science Program to Teach Technology

Learning Area

Design and Technology

Year Level

Four

Strand

Technologies Contexts

Sub-Strand

Engineering principles and systems

Forces, and the properties of materials, affect the behaviour of a product or system (ACTDEK011)

This is from the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) however the equivalent for the Australian curriculum can be found online.

Link to the Resource

Hard Copy ($42):

https://www.primaryconnections.org.au/shop/2PC405-BK

Online resource available on Scootle for free; however, you will need to create an account:

http://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/viewing/S7161/Package-it-better-2012/index.html

To watch PrimaryConnections in action within the classroom click here and it will take you to their YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmx-UK7n-78qwCi4tnJYdDQ

Cross Curricular Priorities

Critical and creative thinking (CCT), Personal and social capability (PSC)

Links to Other Learning Areas

Science, Literacy, Mathematics

Some Background on the Creators

The Australian Academy of Science has linked science with literacy through the innovative program that is PrimaryConnections. The many lesson ideas and units created through PrimaryConnections use an inquiry-based approach to develop students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in both science and literacy; however, many of the lessons can be adapted to suit teaching different aspects of the curriculum. To find out more, please visit the PrimaryConnections website at https://primaryconnections.org.au/about.

Using this Resource

Whilst this resource is set to a quite specific year level and section of the curriculum, it is very easy to implement in the classroom. The program is an eight week course that is designed to cover an entire section of the year four chemistry curriculum. However; looking deeper into the content and tasks required of the students, it is actually a program that coincides very closely with the technologies curriculum. The program is essential lesson plans that include diagnostic, formative and summative assessments; with sequential lessons that build on each other with every activity. The entire program is extremely hands on, with each child being placed into groups and assigned a role, which is linked to improving personal and social capabilities. It caters for visual, audible and kinaesthetic learners. Much of the work is already done for you, it just needs to be adapted to have more of a technology focus if you so desire. If year four is not your year, PrimaryConnections offer science programs for every year level K-12, all of which have ideas on how to teach lessons based on technology. It is just up to you to adapt the program accordingly!

LEGO Autobots, roll out!

Subject: Digital Technology

Year level: 3-6

Strand: Knowledge & Understanding and Processes & Production Skills

Sub-strand: Digital Systems, Investigating and Defining, Evaluating

Possible Curriculum Links:

Digital systems have components with basic functions and interactions that may be connected together to form networks which transmit different types of data (ACTDIK014)

Define a problem, and a set of sequenced steps, with users making decisions to create a solution for a given task

Develop collaborative criteria to evaluate and justify design processes and solutions

 

Link to the Resource:

https://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms

Cross curriculum priorities and general capabilities:

Critical and creative thinking

Personal and social capability

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Numeracy

Cross-curriculum links:

Mathematics

What is it:

Lego Mindstorms EV3 is a system that allows students to build, program and command which are easy and fun to used. The package comes with bricks, motors and sensors to create one of 17 types of robots that can shoot, drive, slam, crash and spin with control from a range of devices including smart phones and tablets. Students can also further program the robots with on computer coding program for more features. The robot can be deconstructed and formed into any of the other 16 models for more missions and actions.

https://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/about-ev3

 

How to use it in the Classroom:

one example of how Lego Midstorms EV3 can be used in the classrooms is the students programming a robots to respond to the sense of touch through lights, sounds, colour and movement. the robot can be displayed in a public area, for example the front office or staff area, with a sign next to it “Do Not Touch”. The robot recorded data every time it was touched within a space of an hour. the students can then graph and analyse this raw data to investigate trends as well as self-control of adults.

Jessica Mann – A Healthy Lifestyle is a Good Lifestyle

FoodSwitch

Subject: Technologies

Year Level: Year 5

Strand: Digital Technologies – Processes and Production Skills

Sub-Strand: Collecting, Managing and Analysing Data – Collect, store and present different types of data for a specific purpose using software (ACTDIP016)

Accessing the App:

Cross-Curriculum Priorities:

  • Sustainability

General Capabilities:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Links to Other Learning Areas:

  • English
  • Numeracy
  • Health and Physical Education

How can an app lead us to a Healthier Future?

Bupa and The George Institute have created the app ‘FoodSwitch’. This app is used to help people find the healthiest brand for a desired food item. It helps individuals and families make healthier choices by giving alternatives (or ‘switches’) for different items based on the quantities of sugar, saturated fat, salt and kilojoules. It helps to take away the overwhelming feeling of reading food labels to decide which is the healthiest food by comparing the foods for you after simply scanning the products barcode!

How does the FoodSwitch app work?

  1. Download the app from the App Store (iPhone/iPad) or from Google Play for FREE
  2. Once in the app, you can select the filter you would like. There is a generic FoodSwitch option as well as SaltSwitch, EnergySwitch, FatSwitch and SugarSwitch option. Each shows the healthier option (in a traffic light system or Health-Star rating way) listed first based on the nutritional value of the product scanned. GlutenSwitch is also a filter which shows gluten-free alternatives. *FILTER CAN BE CHANGED WHENEVER DESIRED

Image shows options of the filters on the FoodSwitch app

  1. After selecting a filter, under the scan button, you can scan any food products barcode. Alternatives are then given to this product (the different nutritional values are shown in a traffic light system or by the Health-Star ratings)

Image shows how products nutritional value is shown in a traffic light system. Seen below are healthy alternatives for the product scanned (healthiest at the top).

  1. As many items as desired can be scanned and all appear under the ‘Recents’ button
  2. Underneath the scanned product, alternative brands are listed  with healthier choices to ‘switch’ the scanned product with being listed at the top

FoodSwitch Benefits for Students:

  • Improves design thinking. Students are required to create an outcome (based on healthy food options) that will benefit people
  • Students are reading data (using mathematics knowledge)
  • Students can use it in a cooperative working group so learn how to work with others and take turns
  • Students can use the app at home to educate their own family on healthy food options
  • Students are learning a easy way to make healthy food options
  • Students understand how a healthy lifestyle is sustainable for their lives as an app as simple as this can be used to provide healthy alternatives

Classroom Activity using FoodSwitch:

This is an engaging way for students to increase their digital technologies knowledge while learning about healthy food alternatives. FoodSwitch can be used by students of all ages to promote healthy eating. This app encourages students to compare data and base judgements on this data. Younger students can use this app to simply compare the different nutritional areas of food products and decide which are healthier alternatives. Older students can use this app in conjunction with a case study. They can have information about a ‘family’ and use this app to scan different food products and decide which would be most beneficial and improve their ‘families’ health in necessary areas. This app can be used in individual, partner and group work settings and works with any tablet or iPad. Students can use knowledge they learn through this app to educate their own family about healthy eating and healthy food alternatives.

Further information:

Accessed on: http://www.bupa.com.au/health-and-wellness/tools-and-apps/mobile-apps/foodswitch-app

*This app requires access to wifi*

 

Jessica Mann – Coding is the Future

Scratch Jr

Subject: Technologies

Year Level: Year One

Strand: Design and Technologies – Processes and Production Skills

Sub-Strand:

  • Creating Solutions by – Designing: Develop and communicate design ideas through describing, drawing, modelling and/or a sequence of written or spoken steps
  • Creating Solutions by – Collaborating and managing: Works independently, or with others when required, to safely create and share sequenced steps for solutions

Accessing the App:

  • Get on Google Play (Android)
  • Download from the App Store (iPad/iPhone)
  • Available at Amazon
  • Available in the Chrome Web Store
  • The app is FREE

Cross-Curriculum Priorities:

  • Sustainability
  • Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia

General Capabilities:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • Creative and Critical Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability

Links to Other Learning Areas:

  • English
  • Mathematics

Why is Coding Important for Students?

Coding is important as students learn computer programming as well as how to solve problems and create their own projects with their own ideas. Using Scratch Jr. students have the opportunity to use their own creative juices in interactive stories and games. This app was created to suit younger children (5-7 years) cognitive, personal, social and emotional development.

Coding is a new type of literacy. It helps students express their own ideas and organise their thinking. They learn how to create and express through technology as well as learning how to solve problems and create design solutions, which are important life skills.

Coding involves students using their computational thinking. It requires them to use their thought processes in formulating a problem and expressing the solution.

Generic starting image on the Scratch Jr. app

How does the Scratch Jr. App Work?

  • Ultimately the app requires students to move and connect coding blocks. They control their characters actions within the designated area. The blocks are organised in colour-coded categories and they can control how many times an event occurs.
  • There are many different things that can be used, created and done on this app. Numbers, directions and letters can all be used. As a teacher, watching and attempting the tutorials and activities found on the Scratch Jr. website is beneficial in helping your abilities in teaching students how to effectively use this coding app. Help with this can be found at this link: https://www.scratchjr.org/teach.html#activities (flicking through the tabs – activities, curricula and assessment – is very beneficial and provides lots of guidance for great classroom use of the app).
  • For a step-by-step introduction video on how the app works access this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6XvwEH0xpg
  • Playing the introductory video on the Scratch Jr. site https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciWPaEgscr0&feature=youtu.be teaches students what to do. Have them work through it as the video plays and also give students free time to have a go at using and exploring the app.

Students working collaboratively on the Scratch Jr. app

Scratch Jr. Benefits for Students:

  • Learn how to solve problems
  • Learn how to create solutions to problems
  • Learn how to design their own projects using their own ideas
  • Get to creatively express themselves – creating their own stories and games
  • Makes abstract ideas real

Classroom Activity using Scratch Jr.:

The Scratch Jr. App is used with lower primary students (mainly used with 5-7 year olds). It can be used with older students if they have never experienced coding before as an introductory activity. Older students who are experienced with coding can use the full Scratch app or other coding apps such as Hopscotch that are available. Scratch Jr. can be used independently, in partners or in group situations. Students can use their knowledge from Mathematics lessons on directions to program their cat to move in certain ways or their knowledge from English lessons to program the cat to say different letters correctly when it is the appropriate time. Students can swap their Scratch Jr. programs with others (by swapping devices) and complete each others designs.

Student independently using the Scratch Jr. app

Further Information:

Additional information on the app can be accessed through this link: https://www.scratchjr.org/

Can connect with others on Twitter (@scratchjr)

Further activity videos for guidance can be accessed through this link: https://ase.tufts.edu/devtech/CSEdWeek2016.html

*App requires wifi to work*

 

 

Classroom Designs

What does your classroom look like?

Subject: Design and Technology

Year: 2

Strand: Process and Production

Sub-Strands: Designing

Content Descriptor:
ACTDEP006 – Generate, develop and record design ideas through describing, drawing and modelling
ACTDEP007 – Use materials, components, tools, equipment and techniques to safely make designed solutions

Cross-Curriculum Priorities and General Capabilities:
Sustainability
-Numeracy
Critical and Creative thinking
-Information and communication technology (ICT) capability

Links to Other Learning Areas: Mathematics
ACMMG037 – Compare and order several shapes and objects based on length, area, volume and capacity using appropriate uniform informal units

Platform:
iPads
Website: http://classroom.4teachers.org

Overview:
This activity helps to develop students concept of designing a classroom using shapes to outline objects. The activity would be completed in a geometry lesson and looking at students recognition of shapes. Students will look at objects around the room and position them on their own template by incorporating various shapes to represent different objects. Once students have drawn their objects, they then need to use shapes in the website classroom architect to represent a layout of a classroom. The app allows you to print the final products to assist in assessment.

Roald Dahl

Marvellous Medicines Creations
Influenced by Roald Dahl’s, George’s Marvellous Medicine

Subject: Technologies

Year Level: 2

Strand: Digital Technologies

Sub-Strand: Process and Production skills

Content Descriptors:
ACTDIP003– Collect, explore and sort data, and use digital systems to present the data creatively
ACTDIP004– Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems

Cross Curriculum Priorities 
-Sustainability

General Capabilities:
-Literacy
-Critical and Creative Thinking
-Information and communication Technology (ICT) Capability

Links to other Learning Areas – Literacy
ACELA1470 Understand the use of vocabulary about familiar and new topics and experiment with and begin to make conscious choices of vocabulary to suit audience and purpose

Can use on a:
– PC
– APPLE products such as MacBooks and Ipads
Digital devices must have word and or powerpoint (Which ever you chose)

Overview of activity:
The unit of work is based from the text: Roald Dahl: George’s Marvellous medicine.
Students will be developing the concept of informative texts throughout reading the text and ability to create their own marvellous medicine. Students will use multi modal representations to show the instructions on how to make a marvellous medicine that they have created. This unit of work integrates digital technologies and links with Language, giving students a broader context of literacy components including capital letters, commas and full stops; as well as writing instructions with appropriate audience in mind.

Book Creator App

Book Creator App is an app which can be used on the iPad. It is suitable for most age groups, however once the student is able to create words it is most appropriate. It is used when creating a story or book, and can be printed through the app also.

Subject: Digital Technologies

Year Level: 2-6

Strand: Digital Technologies processes and production skills

Sub Strand: Designing

Develop, communicate and discuss design ideas through describing, drawing, modeling and/or a sequence of steps

Link to the Resource: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/book-creator-for-ipad-create/id442378070?mt=8

Cross Curriculum Priorities:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability
  • Critical and creative thinking

Links to Other Learning Areas:

  • English
  • History
  • Geography
  • Science

A Classroom Activity Using This Resource

This recourse can be used during any lesson which requires a book or booklet to be created. Students are able to alter the colour, font and look of their book by using the side bar and following the prompts. In a literacy lesson, students could be creating their own narrative and create it through the Book Creator App on their iPad’s so that it can be printed. Students are able to insert illustrations, or draw them too.

How to use this resource

This resource can be easily downloaded through the App Store on iPads used at the school.  Students are able to follow the prompts, or the teacher can connect through the interactive whiteboard for students to follow along also. The app can be used independently or in groups, with little to no teacher modeling, or full teacher control.

Kodable

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Subject: Technologies Year Level: Suitable for all years

Strand: Digital Technologies Sub strand: Digital Technologies Processes and Production Skills

Recognise and explore patterns in data and represent data as pictures, symbols and diagrams (ACTDIK002)

Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004)

Overview of Kodable: Kodable makes learning to code fun for students. They must drag and drop commands to program their fuzzy character to get through a maze. By doing this, they learn problem solving, computational thinking, sequence, conditions, loops, functions and debugging. These are skill necessary for learning any programming language.

Kodable includes interactive tutorials for each new concept. Students can learn new programming terms and logic without any adult assistance. The tutorials are completely voiced and walk kids through the first problem in each new lesson.

You can also download the app for free on your iPhone, iPad or tablet!

For more information and to purchase visit: https://www.kodable.com/resources

 

 

Babble Dabble Do

Babble Dabble Do 

Subject: Design and Technology

Year Level: Year 4

Strand: Design and Technology

Links to resource or website:

http://babbledabbledo.com/

Links to other learning areas

Science

Technology

Mathematics

Art

Review:

Are you game enough to make Oobleck with your students?

Know how to make marbled milk paper?

Challenge your students to find different ways to balance paper triangles!

One, two, three…Stixplosion!

Babble Dabble Do connects students by engaging their creativity, offering endless activities as Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics collide. Although online lessons are ready to be implemented into classrooms to support curious and inquisitive minds, parents can access the website too.

A former Architect and furniture designer, Ana created the website as a means of compiling fun, challenging activities that encourage imagination and creation in the minds of children.

Divided into the four areas of

  • Art for Kids
  • Science for Kids
  • Engineering for Kids
  • Design for Kids

Babble Dabble Do fosters a desire to question, inquire, investigate and most importantly, take steps to problem solve through setbacks and obstacles. With activities that directly link to the Australian curriculum Design and Technologies, Science, Mathematics, Arts, as well as opportunities to implement Digital Technologies, Babble Dabble Do is a ‘must’ in effective teaching and learning.

Facilitate and cater to the creative needs of your students by bookmarking this website!

Image retrieved from http://babbledabbledo.com/

JPearce

Scratch

Scratch

Subject: Digital Technologies

Year Level: 5-6

Links to other Learning Areas: Literacy, Numeracy, The Arts, HASS and Science

Links to Cross Curricular Priorities/ General Capabilities: Numeracy, Critical and Creative Thinking, ICT.

Platform: Desktop/Laptop

Cost: Free

ACARA Links:

  • Design, modify and follow simple algorithms involving sequences of steps, branching, and iteration (repetition) (ACTDIP019)
  • Implement digital solutions as simple visual programs involving branchingiteration (repetition), and user input (ACTDIP020)
  • Acquire, store and validate different types of data, and use a range of software to interpret and visualise data to create information (ACTDIP016)
  • Examine the main components of common digital systems and how they may connect together to form networks to transmit data (ACTDIK014)

Scratch is a Coding program that can be used in the classroom, to teach the basics of coding computers, however can also progress into more difficult coding projects as well. Scratch can be used by students will varied levels of capabilities, and is a fantastic tool for peer mentoring.

The program is both an online program accessed through Google Chrome (or FireFox) and can also be downloaded as a program onto any Desktop/Laptop computer.

The program allows uses to create stories, games and animations. Scratch could be used as a platform for students to present assignments as well as create interactive quizzes and games to be shared with peers.

The online version is fantastic, as it has tutorials for students (and teachers) of different levels of ability. The tutorials go through step-by-step processes in order to achieve the set out goal.

https://scratch.mit.edu