I was introduced to Microbits last year as I began to draw plans for a new makerspace at my urban elementary school. My goal was to bring computer science skills and coding to the 4th grade students in my general education classroom as well as to students 4th-8th grade through an after school club in the new makerspace.  We created the space and finally my club began a few weeks ago.  Four students were immediately drawn to the Microbits station and got started right away with researching interesting projects to make.  It took about 3 sessions to figure out how to connect the Microbits to their Chromebooks, code it and find a project they were interested in.  Finally, last week, they came to the club prepared with their materials to make a Microbit watch and were successful in doing so!  They were so excited to wrap the watches around their little wrists and read the message they coded on them.  They showed the other students in the club their creations and were ecstatic!   

 

Since one of these Microbit station students is a student in my regular classroom, I asked her to lead a small group of students in coding a Microbit beginner lesson the following day for our "Fantastic Friday Computer Science Period".  She led a group of 8 students in setting up the Microbits and completing both the "smiley face" and "flashing heart" beginner projects.  My students were excited to learn and once that heart on the Microbit started flashing, there were shouts of "this is so cool, I love this!".  Some of these students are reluctant learners who struggle with getting work completed or struggle with reading or math, some do not have much of a connection to their peers and some do not have much family support with education.  To be able to bring Microbits into the classroom and show my students that there are other ways to be successful in school other than the normal curriculum work, is extremely rewarding.  I look forward to carving out more time on these "Fantastic Fridays" for students to explore and grow with Microbits this school year!!!

 

  Students in the after school STEAMTeam club create their Microbit watches.

 

A student shows their Microbit watch Students in the classroom collaborate to complete the smiley face project.