Cubetto more than a cute face:
Cubetto is a cute wooden robot created by Primo Toys that operates via bluetooth. Cubetto is controlled via a control panel and blocks that you place in the panel. Cubetto comes with a variety of blocks: forward, turn right, turn left, and function. It also comes with a few stories that challenge you to move Cubetto to along various parts of the mat. It is these mats that intrigued me with Grade 4.
Getting the teachers on board
The mats include an image of the compass rose simplified coordinate points. I thought this would be a perfect introduction to the concepts of the unit.
To get the teachers on board, I organized a time with the team leader to join a planning meeting. I took with me 1 Cubetto (out of the 4 that I had available). During the meeting I modelled for the teachers how I would introduce the Cubetto and taught them how it worked.
Once the teachers become comfortable with the basics of the robot I challenged them to make the robot move around the board. The directions were designed to use the key terminology:
To say it was a hit with the teachers, would be a mild understatement and we arranged times before I left.
Leading the class
While working with the students, the instructor guided the students through giving directions and helping them with the code. In the groups the students took turns providing the directions and coding the Cubetto. While a student was programming the Cubetto, I asked the other students for other options for moving the Cubetto.
While the activity was a success, there are a few changes I would like to make for the next time:
- Remind students to document their work using their iPads
- Provide additional questions like
- Move Cubetto South 3 squares, turn East, move 4 blocks. Where are you? What is the corordinate you are at.