Using KUBO Coding++ in the classroom is a good way to work with topics such as the consequences of decision making and changing data input, as well as calculating outcome and impact.
As students start to work with syntax and computational grammar, the learning journey for programming is similar to that of learning a new language. Syntax becomes immediately clear, which gives students a chance to visually change and correct their coding to control the desired outcome. The literacy skills that students learn to use lay a solid foundation and can be transferred to learning about other coding languages when coding with other robots in secondary school. Students have a chance to practice different skills, such as collaboration, teamwork, communication, and problem-solving, as well as exercising their imagination and creative skills in storytelling projects.
Combining Storytelling and Conditional Statements
Stories are formed from a string of events, for example, a beginning, a point of no return, an element of conflict, and an ending. Even the simplest stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. Using stories provides an opportunity to combine academic content with the Conditional Statement TagTilesⓇ.
Working with variables presents lots of opportunities for Math learning too. Students learn about numbers, calculations, and data, and start to understand how data can be changed and manipulated. In Math, variables typically represent numbers, however, they can also be used to represent other elements with a value, such as liquids, metals, and letters. This makes variables an ideal foundation for cross-curricular activities.
Using Event TagTiles, students will typically create a function and have KUBO start from a point on a map. They will then place the Play TagTile on the map, at E4 for instance, then KUBO will execute the code that has been memorized from the function, such as ‘go two steps ahead, then turn right’. This is when the conditional TagTiles come into play. The introductory statement starts: if KUBO meets the obstacle, then continue down the path, else turn left and solve another task that KUBO will meet on the route. The obstacle symbolized by the Event TagTile on the map can be either a Math task, a spelling task, or a conflict starter such as a ‘point of no return’ in a story.
Up to four Event TagTiles can be placed on the map, with each TagTile belonging to a specific story sequence. In this way, students can create advanced codes to tell different parts of the story. By doing so, they learn about storytelling structure and composition as well as code syntax. Students get the experience of controlling the technology and can visually see, analyze, debug, and change their code to suit their responses and decisions.
Introducing Random Events
Random TagTiles can be used for playful, gamified, and real-world oriented content while developing students’ storytelling skills. For example, if KUBO works as a night watchman or a detective, the storyline is likely to feature random or unpredictable behavior. KUBO might be on the lookout for criminal or suspicious behavior or have to watch out for key events in a scenario. But if KUBO is working as a doctor in a hospital, the introduction of random makes less sense. In most circumstances, doctors will exhibit precise, predictable, and considered behavior as part of their routine.
Using KUBO Coding++ is a fun and engaging way for teachers to help students understand and explain their choices when coding sequences. By simplifying complex concepts through hands-on experiences, KUBO builds confidence among educators as well as students.
Printed with permission from KUBO Education
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rikke Bergreen Paaskesen has taught STEAM programmes to students aged 5 to 17 for five years. She is now working for KUBO as a curriculum specialist and educational adviser, helping to ensure that KUBO activities and lesson plans are fun, relevant and inspiring