The file is progressive and begins with the children using the probot to create skeletons around which they made and then decorated their own floor compasses. From here working in groups the students used their floor compasses to learn about compass direction, predicting outcomes from given inputs, eg if I am facing east, and make a 1/4 turn east what direction will I be facing? This required them to know and use the numerical values for rotation sizes, or to calculate these using halving and doubling strategies. Within the problems set we also replaced fractions of a turn with the number of degrees, and the directions of a rotation with clockwise/anticlockwise, and right/left. The children went on from this to make up challenge questions for their friends in other groups.
In the next series of activities the children made mazes using strips of paper. Working initially with right angles, some children chose to extend the activity to include 45 degree turns. The children used their knowledge that a Probot step was 1 cm to help them measure the distances the probot would need to move, and estimation to predict and test the size of turn they would need to make at each point in order to navigate the maze. After step by step planning the children were asked to input procedures, that would take the turtle from one end of the maze to the other without stopping.
The final photographs in the series represent a session in the ICT suite where children used MSW LOGO for the first time. The students were given a prepared treasure map which they loaded into the LOGO workspace, before we discussed as a class and decided the route around the island we would take, or the order in which we would visit particular landmarks. Transferring the floor based experiences of the students to the screen was not difficult, and after only a brief introduction to the commands and how these should be input, they worked very successfully and independently, to resolve many of the issues they encountered. In the plenary to this session the children were asked what they would like to do in the next session, and suggested that they would like to have a blank treasure map, that they could add landmarks to themselves, they could then ask their friends to journey around their island following a route they had prepared.
This series of activities, as well as the obvious ICT and Geographical links, offered opportunities for the students to engage practically with the following strands and related objectives from the Primary Framework for Mathematics
- Know the relationships between.., metres and centimetres..., choose and use appropriate units to estimate, measure and record measurements
- Read, to the nearest division and half-division, scales that are numbered or partially numbered; use the information to measure and draw to a suitable degree of accuracy
- Read and record the vocabulary of position, direction and movement, using the four compass directions to describe movement about a grid
- Use a set-square to draw right angles and to identify right angles in 2-D shapes; compare angles with a right angle; recognise that a straight line is equivalent to two right angles
- Read and write proper fractions, interpreting the denominator as the parts of a whole and the numerator as the number of parts; identify and estimate fractions of shapes;
Many of the activities here are drawn from or build on previous posts that can be found within the control category to the left of the page.