image Designing a curriculum program using Ozobots, a collaborative task :)

This blog post describes how I wrote a program collaboratively with a team of Year 4 teachers. If you teach higher levels, don’t stop reading. Ozobots can be used with higher year levels, some of my Year 7 students have had a play and my Year 9 class are keen to give them a go. There are many more higher order thinking activities for older students even though this blog post describes activities for year 4 students.

Today I provided release time for a Year 4 teacher to work with me to create a program using Ozobots, and then I provided 2 release lessons to work with the other Year 4 teachers, to walk them through our program, allow them time to explore Ozobots and then the opportunity to suggest modifications to the program we created. Well, I didn’t actually provide the time, my school did by paying a relief teacher to take their class whilst they worked with me. My school didn’t have to pay a relief teacher to take my class as I chose a day when I have most of my non-contact times.

Why? Well, firstly I am new to Ozobots and from my experience collaborative programming is more successful than individual programming. Secondly, in order to encourage teachers to adopt new technologies I find that if teachers are provided with time, they are more likely to embrace the new technologies. I don’t think any teacher has never mentioned or thought, I see the educational benefits but I don’t have the time to do that. Well, our year 4 teachers had the time today, and I believe we created an innovative and creative program which I’d like to share.

If you don’t know what Ozobots are, refer to one of my previous blogs by following this LINK. The first thing I did was to demonstrate how to use the Ozobots to the teacher I was working with, and then allowed her time to play. Whilst she was playing, I looked at the Australian Curriculum, the achievement standard, band description, content descriptors and cross curriculum priorities and decided which ones I’d like to cover in the unit. We then discussed these so that we were clear about what we wanted to achieve.

Then we explored a range of Ozobot resources which I’d downloaded for free. There are already so many out there for free. However, having a clear focus of what we wanted to achieve, enabled us to filter through resources rather quickly to determine if they were just ‘fun activities’ or activities which met our desired outcome. To our surprise, many were just ‘fun activities’ so we had to think of our own. Below are the activities we created and or downloaded and modified for our program. Note, we programmed activities with the intention of completing each within in 2 lessons, 80 minutes and it is assumed that an Ozobot is a required material for each activity.

Activity 1: Code Investigation

  • A3 white paper
  • Blue, green, red and black markers
  • Workbook to record in
  • Modified 3 block practice sheet

Lesson Plan
Teacher demonstrates the following:
(1) How to turn an Ozobot on and off
(2) How to calibrate the Ozobot; a)  Draw a black circle on a piece of paper and colour it in. b) Hold the on button for 2 seconds until it flashes white c) Place the Ozobot on the black circle. d) Wait for the Ozobot to flash green. Then it is ready to use.
(3) How to draw a line with a code. NOTE: Do not tell students the codes, however, tell them that different combinations of the colours make the robot do different things.

(4) Give students their challenge: Your task is to investigate (work out) the colour code combinations using 3 colours, and what they command the Ozobot to do.
(5) Teachers then demonstrate how to draw a black line, place 3 block colours at the end of the line to create a code, then a black line to continue. As a class watch the Ozobot follow the line and determine the action of the Ozobot (ie u-turn, go right, spin). Explain that it is important to trial it more than once before deciding on the action. Model how to record the code and action.
(6) Students begin their challenge.

For students who require extension: Students repeat the same challenge, this time investigating the code combinations for 4 block colours.

Lesson Plan Modifications:
For students on a modified program:  Give students a colour codes sheet with the actions of the Ozobot removed. Their task is to draw a colour code combination, run the Ozobot on the line and record the Ozobot’s action on the colour code worksheet from the corresponding list on the side of the page. Modified worksheet below (will upload soon, I haven’t created it yet):

Activity 2: Experimenting with code

Students’ challenge: Your task is to design a challenge for a partner. Using an A3 piece of paper, draw a path using colour code blocks for your Ozobot to follow. You can use the pocket guide to help you draw your codes. Record your Ozobot’s actions in your book as a list, from the first action through to the last action. Then give your Ozobot path to a peer to run their Ozobot on. Your peer needs to record the Ozobot’s actions then give the list of action they recorded to you. Check to see if your peer had the same actions recorded as you did.

Activity 3: Ozobot Trick or Treat Game
Materials: The original game can be downloaded from the official Ozobot library

  • Laminated group packs of house cards
  • Laminated group packs of codes you can use cards
  • Photocopies of board games, one for each student
  • Timer (ie on student’s lap tops)

Lesson Plan: Firstly, we thought if we laminate packs of house cards and the codes you can use cards we would save of printing. Secondly, we decided to modify the game to suit our students. Our modification for ‘how to play include’:
1. Write in pencil next to the colour code blocks which command you might choose (ie go slow, go right, go left etc) then show your teacher.
2. Teachers then give advice for students colour in their chosen code. This will reduce paper wastage of students just randomly choosing a code and their game not working. We also thought it would help students to draft, plan their ideas and allow them to refine before testing.
3. Students place house cards on the board.
4. Calibrate your Ozobot and then put it on the start. The timer will start as the Ozobot goes over the first code. Record how many houses your Ozobot passes during the 30 second time limit. We chose not to use the candy points for each house as it was too confusing.
5. The winner is the player whose Ozobot passes the most houses.

Activity 4: Line Jump and Turn Challenge Assessment
Materials: I can’t find the original link for this challenge online, however it has the Ozobot logo so is more than likely somewhere on the Ozobot library site, so I acknowledge this source and note that I am not making a profit from this resource in any way. Here is the PDF, you will need page 6: OzobotPracticeSheets-2dh37z2

Lesson Plan:
1.  Give students a Line Jump and Turn Challenge sheet (page 6 of the above PDF ) after you have made modifications to it. You will need to number each code before printing. Here is copy of our draft with a numbering system, ignore the colour codes and additonal writing, don’t add these to your worksheet before printing, this was just us playing 🙂 Ozobot Line Jump Challenge with numbers-1objtp1
2. Explain that the aim is to colour the correct codes so that the Ozobot begins at the start and ends at the finish line. However, before they begin to colour the code blocks, they need to record all 13 codes on their assessment record sheet in the trial 1 column. Here is the assessment record sheet we created:
3. When students have recorded their codes they show the teacher.
4. The teacher ticks the codes which are correct on the students assessment sheet and colours/highlight the corresponding rubric score.
5. If students need to make adjustments, they make adjustments in the trial 2 column on the assessment sheet.
6. Students then show their teacher and then colour code their challenge sheet in order to test the Ozobot’s path.
Note: We created the assessment sheet so that students could plan and record their thoughts before testing with their Ozobot. We also wanted teachers to give feedback before students colour their codes on their sheet. Why? One of our reasons was to provide support for success, and the other to reduce paper wastage for doing trial and error using multiple challenge worksheets. In addition, the assessment sheet makes it easy for teachers to mark. Here are the answers to the challenge: Ozobot Line Jump and Turn Challenge Answer Sheet-2afh8j3

Activity 5: Introduction to Ozoblockly Coding

Lesson Plan: 
1. Teachers demonstrate how to navigate to .
2. There is a video tutorial which demonstrates how  calibrate an Ozobot using a device and how to load a program. Note: Our students use  Surface Pros, they need to zoom the screen size to 175% in order to calibrate and load their programs.
3. Allow students time to practice writing programs, dowloading and watching their Ozobots perform their programmed tasks.

Activity 6: Ozoblockly Challenges

Lesson Plan: On the Ozoblockly website there are challenges for students. Below is an image showing your how to access them:




We explored the challenges today and recommend  ‘Ozobolockly rectangle walk challenge’ and the ‘Ozobot slot car challenge’ for year 4 students. For extension, we recommend the ‘Ozoblockly colour visit counts challenge’.

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