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Spheros in the Classroom

Eleni Kyritsis – Year 3 IB PYP Teacher, Host and Founder of TeachTech Play

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As teachers we need to provide our students with opportunities to learn how to learn, supporting them to find and solve problems. Our role involves developing learners for many jobs that are yet to exist. The critical question we must ask as educators is; How might we best prepare our students for their future?

There are many tools, resources, and applications that can be used to enhance student learning and develop their lifelong learning skills. The Sphero is one of these tools. It is amazingly versatile and will engage and empower your students. A tennis ball sized robot connected via bluetooth to a mobile device, the Sphero can be used to transform teaching and learning across various curriculum areas.

The Sphero can roll at a speed of up to 7km/h in any direction, spin, flip, and change colour. Using a range of Apps students can accurately direct the movement of the Sphero using code.

Creatively designed lessons incorporating Spheros can develop many of the attributes we want for our learners. Students will be designing and creating code to direct the Sphero while connecting, communicating, collaborating, problem solving, testing, failing, and iterating, all key characteristics of 21st century learners.

Here are some of my favourite lessons using Spheros

Mathematics - Shape & Angle investigation

  • Sphero EDU app
  • On paper students create and sketch a 2D shape showing their knowledge of angles
  • Using masking tape, rulers, and protractors, students recreate their shape on the floor
  • Students connect the Sphero to the iPad app Sphero EDU, and use code to direct the sphero to follow the masking tape shape.

Skills students develop

  • Coding using block code
  • Percentages, Angles, Measurement, Time, Distance, Speed

Mathematics - Data, Measurement, Mean, Median & Mode

  • Sphero EDU app
  • The Sphero can be used as a variable to collect data, recording the time it takes to complete a task
  • Using masking tape or cones, students can record the time it takes the Sphero to follow a course
  • Using different speeds, students can measure the distance the Sphero travels in a set time
  • The Sphero is waterproof, so students can record the time it takes to travel through water. Rubber bands can be added to increase friction and alter results.

Skills students develop

  • Coding using block code
  • Percentages, Angles, Measurement, Time, Distance, Speed
  • Data, Analysing data, Mean, Median & Mode.

 Angles - Mini Golf

  • Sphero EDU app
  • Students design a mini golf course
  • Using the Sphero EDU app, students direct the Sphero to each hole in as little code directions as possible.
  • Students can analyse the data from the game and calculate the Mean, Median and Mode for each hole of the course

Skills students develop

  • Coding using block code
  • Percentages, Angles, Measurement, Time, Distance, Speed
  • Data, Analysing data, Mean, Median & Mode.

Language

  • Sphero EDU app
  • Students can design and create a plastic cup character that can be placed over the Sphero
  • Students create a story line and move their cup character covering their Sphero to retell the story.

Skills students develop

  • Art, Design
  • Storytelling, retell skills descriptive language, character development
  • Plot, storyline.

Sphero Art

  • Sphero EDU app, Draw & Drive App
  • Students dip the Sphero into paint, and then place it onto a large blank canvas (wipe the Sphero clean after each use using baby wipes)
  • Draw & Drive App - Students can draw an image on the iPad screen which the Sphero will follow
  • Sphero EDU app - Students can code shapes and images

Skills students develop

  • Art, Design
  • Percentages, Angles, Measurement, Time, Distance, Speed.

If you are participating in Sphero Art, my students would love to see your classes creations please share via bit.ly/spheroart

The use of Spheros in your classroom will enhance your students enthusiasm and engagement. Whilst developing attributes of 21st century learners, students will continue to problem solve until they achieve success and their achievements celebrated with cheers of delight. Incorporating the Sphero into my lessons has increased my students love of learning and is teaching them critical skills to be successful in their futures. 


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