Introducing Year 1 -2DIY

October 21st, 2014 | Posted by AlwaysComputing in 2DIY | PurpleMash - (0 Comments)

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The first few weeks in my job are usually a nightmare with year 1. Spending a few weeks trying to get them used to the network, trying to write their own names and showing them how a password works can slowly drive you insane. A few weeks in now and they have started doing some ‘real work’, which is great as my sanity slowly drifts back.

This half term the pupils have been looking at game making, and how we can use simple software to make games based on their topic. At the moment they are spending their time in classroom looking at all things Space.

So far I have stuck fairly religiously to 2DIY. Great for game making at all ages as the difficulty level can increase or decrease as required. So far our most complicated has been the jigsaw puzzle. Technically all the kids are doing is creating a lovely image showing me either a rocket, alien or the Moon; and then 2DIY turns it into a puzzle for them. I get to see their computing skills when they look at adding a few simple instructions to the game, or think about how they can make it easier/more difficult for other people.

Now the actual work they produce isn’t a Van Gogh, I mean it’s year 1, but the conversations going on in the room are brill! Listening to pupils talking to each other about how to write the instructions, how to change the jigsaw size, and game swapping is what I’m really after. It’s definitely one of those lessons where the biggest noise in the room is from the chairs shuffling around as they try each others work out!

The beauty of using something like 2DIY is its simplicity. I know that even with year 1 pupils I can leave them to the work without having to do much technical help, leaving me to concentrate on the learning. If you want to see programming in KS1 just ask pupils to build you a simple Collecting or Catching game. Job done!

What’s your best 2DIY lesson with KS1? Anyone else share in my year 1 nightmare start to the year?!

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Today I have been continuing my journey through the world of animation with year 3 pupils. By now they are pretty good at making sure the little webcams are plugged in, and they have a good understanding of the basic principles. We are still only moving little models around the tables, but they all understanding that the smaller and finer the movement, the smoother their film looks.

In school we are using the program ZU3D. We purchased the full set up last year, with a full site license, 45 webcams and some of the set kits. All in all it was an expense, but I am already seeing the benefit in the lessons. The discussion generated in the room us just ridiculous. I have them working in animator teams of 2, working out what they want their models to do, how they are going to get it move and what edits they are going to do afterwards. Do they need to add titles and credits? What sounds should they add? How many frames have we done? Could we do more? It’s brilliant!

The films we’re producing aren’t bad either for a group of 7 year olds. Granted they are a big jerky in places, and a few hands manage to creep into the film, but the overall effect is brill.

I’m also doing the same project with year 6 children at the moment but obviously at a different level. They are working with small plasticine models to create their work, and thinking about how they can be used int he world of film making. Again, due to the simple nature of the program, the results have been great. I could leave them working on this for hours if I had the time.

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