Interactive Around the World Basic Facts Practice with wrist-mounted Microbits.


When we received the Microbit Club Pack I divided each set into its own small zipper bag. In each bag there was the Microbit, the cable, and the battery pack with batteries. When my students arrived I showed them Microsoft's MakeCode site and a few other resources related to cool things you could do with a Microbit.  Students had never heard of them and were eager to try it out. I gave them zero instruction and set them free in groups of their choosing to "make something awesome." They had a slightly slow start of it. I am pretty sure it is because they assumed sending code into the Microbit would be more complicated than drag and drop. Once they realized how easy it was they were making all kids of scrolling messages, random generators, etc. I was amazed at how fast the picked it up and ran with it. By then our 40 minutes was up and we cleaned up for the day.


As the second class started I gathered them around the Microbits on a work table. They were challenged to create something using the Microbit that would make a school task better, easier, or more fun. After brainstorming many ideas we decided to all build the same device so we could all play together. The basic plan was instead of using flashcards to play around the world two kids at a time, they wanted to all have a random number generate on their wrist. Two students can square off, shake their hand, and the first one to say the answer to the basic fact would move yo the upper group.


I am doing this project with fourth graders so multiplication is the fact practice we chose to focus on. They figured out that if we just followed the code tutorial for rock, paper, scissors we could add all digits 0 through 9 to the code.


Now it was time for the game rules.


Single player: the player or teacher chooses a number which needs to be practiced. The student shakes the Microbit and has to multiply the chosen number by the number that appears on the Microbit. Example: Teacher chose 9. Student shakes Microbit and a 5 comes up. 9 x 5 is 45. Challenge yourself to be as fast as possible.


Multi-player: Students each have a Microbit with the same program. They stand next to each other, not facing each other. That makes for some confusing 5 or 2, 9 or 6 problems! Both students shake at the same time and display their Microbit at the same time. First student to say the answer to the multiplication of the two displayed digits, wins. You can keep playing with the same partner, move to another partner, there are so many ways to change it up.


Next week we will make wrist straps to make them into wearable fact practice bands.