This post first appeared in http://mrshillslearningquest.blogspot.com/ as part of Marnie Hill's ongoing posts about teaching Lego Robotics at PACT. This "real" look at Lego Robotics in the classroom is exciting and exhausting!
Today was our 4th class in Lego Robotics. The kids are now familiar with the Lego pieces, and the WeDo programming icons. They are able to work at their own pace, following directions in the WeDo program. They start off following the instructions step by step, but along the way they invariably find their own way to do things. They modify the build, or they add components to the program. They try, fail, and try again. My students are learning how things work - gears, pulleys, levers, motors and sensors. They are also developing their eye for details. Gears that don't touch just right, won't work they way they should, and pieces that are put together backwards won't fit where they belong.
All of this is important stuff. But the most important thing they are learning is to trust themselves - take risks, use trial and error to test ideas, and look beyond the instructions to what could be.