pramsay13
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:32 pm

Raspberry Pi for Primary School Children

Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:59 am

I run a club in a school with a 10 week programme taken from the resources on the Raspberry Pi website.
The list is:

Demo Programs
Getting Started With Scratch
Sonic Pi
LEDs
Turtle Snowflakes
Minecraft Pi
Burping Jelly Baby
Robot Antenna
Storytime
For the 10th week they can pick any project they want.

We have a raspberry pi each and some leds, resistors, jumper cables etc. for everyone, but limited other equipment (e.g we have only 3 cameras, 3 sense hats etc.)

We started with primary 7 children and they have been fine and understood the projects and were able to experiment at the end of each session.
Primary 6 children were also okay with a bit of guidance along the way.
We are now onto primary 5 children and I'm finding they are struggling, especially using python as it is unforgiving, and even subtle errors, such as an incorrect capital letter, will mean they are not getting the code to work, and need adult help to debug.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep it fun and engaging for this age group or projects that are easier and are rewarding immediately?

B.Goode
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Location: UK

Re: Raspberry Pi for Primary School Children

Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:41 pm

We are now onto primary 5 children and I'm finding they are struggling, especially using python as it is unforgiving, and even subtle errors, such as an incorrect capital letter, will mean they are not getting the code to work, and need adult help to debug.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep it fun and engaging for this age group


Stop using Python for that age group?

Maybe check out EduBlocks. https://edublocks.org

(As an aside: education systems across the world use different phrases to describe the stages of a child's education. What does "Primary X" mean in chronological years?)

pramsay13
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:32 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi for Primary School Children

Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:13 pm

I am thinking about ditching python but half of these resources use python.
I'll check out edublocks.
Primary 5 is around 10 years old up to Primary 7 who are around 12 years old.

Forris
Raspberry Pi Certified Educator
Raspberry Pi Certified Educator
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:46 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi for Primary School Children

Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:42 pm

I'd keep Python in for the 6's & 7's, but I'm not sure I understand why you are trying to get all year groups to the same level.

It seems your kids stay at primary for a years longer than the UK, so year numbers are the same but Yr7 would be the first year of Secondary over here.

I have some Yr5's doing Python, but only in a club setting, not in formal lessons.

Edublocks is definitely the way to go if you want to keep the Python content in for the younger students. It's Python, just presented in block form.

pramsay13
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:32 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi for Primary School Children

Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:18 pm

Thanks everyone, EduBlocks is exactly what I was looking for.
It definitely simplifies the python processes and stops them making basic errors.
If only it came installed as standard as I now have to sign in to 20 units and install the software.
Cheers

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bensimmo
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Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Raspberry Pi for Primary School Children

Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:06 pm

Alternative is Scratch of course, you can play with the SenseHAT and the gpio (so LEDs etc)
It's also preinstalled and will teach programming structure.
As used by many Primary School Years 4,5&6 (7-11 yr olds) and CodeClubs over here. Also in Yr7/8 (11-13) year olds in Senior school among other languages.

Also you'll find resources on here and CodeClub.

pramsay13
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:32 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi for Primary School Children

Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:44 pm

Hoping for a bit of help installing edublocks.
We have around 20 RPis and around half of them were still on Jessie and half on Stretch.
I downloaded edublocks using command

Code: Select all

curl -sSL get.edublocks.org | bash
The ones that are already on Stretch work fine, but the older ones still on Jessie do not work.
Clicking on the icon opens terminal and it says starting edublocks server, edublocks ui is loading etc, but then terminal disappears and the edublocks ui doesn't load.
I've tried downloading again but edublocks still will not load.
Any ideas?

pramsay13
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:32 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi for Primary School Children

Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:08 pm

Solved my own issue.
Edublocks seems to need chromium browser to work, and Jessie comes with epiphany web browser and an upgrade doesn't change to chromium so once it is installed separately all is fine.
Last edited by pramsay13 on Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bensimmo
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Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Raspberry Pi for Primary School Children

Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:10 pm

If there is no reason to keep the Jessie installs, then a quick solution is to pop the SD cards in a USB adaptor of some sort.
Then pop it in an Pi with Stretch that is working and copy it's SD card.
(First I would update* the Stretch install as it will save time in the long run keeping them up to date).
Then Raspberry 'start' menu -- Accessories -- SD Card Copier.
And just copy the working card.

You'll soon have them all the same in no time.


*https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... pdating.md

pramsay13
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:32 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi for Primary School Children

Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:14 pm

At the minute all the files the children have been working on are dotted around the file system of the pi so wanting to upgrade rather than do a fresh install.
In future I need to sort out the storage of saved files so a fresh install is easier.

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bensimmo
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Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Raspberry Pi for Primary School Children

Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:48 pm

Are they networked (wired)?

What I did for ours as I needed to update them all since for menthe Jessie to Stretch didn't go well on any of them.
Pi3's lost WiFi at some point and SenseHAT went a bit funny. (Led array and would stay on at the start and shutdown etc).

So popped the SD cards one by one into the adaptor and just copied the files into separate folders as backup.
(Yawn)

Then started afresh with stretch, got it setup etc moved all the folders used, documents, desktop, random places over to it and then cloned that SD card card to all the others.

BUT if I had these all networked (they are not) via wires, then do what (royal we, John Witts really) did at the PiJam Hull and setup a PC with PiServer. It so much easier now, each child, adult, pineapple has a logon and the files are all kept on the PC (laptop here).
Only one 'image' to keep up to date and that's it.
https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/piserver/

Something to look into if you can make use of it.

It stops this sort of mess.
Given you didn't have Chromium, they are old old images of Jessie (like I had), you may need to install a few other things as well. (Gpiozero for instance)?

Which Pi's are you using Pi2/3?
If it the B+ or earlier then chromium isn't going to be fun.

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