ISB Elementary School Collaboration “The Power of Patterns” Blends Robotics, Math, and Art
Creativity is a key learner attribute that we try to instill in our learners here at International School Bangkok. This includes a spirit of design and invention, which was perfectly illustrated in our Elementary School’s latest remarkable initiative “The Power of Patterns.”Building blocks for education
“The Power of Patterns” was a collaborative experience set up among Grade 2 and 3 students, using Lego robotics for a hands-on experience of patterning and measurement in math. Students measured how far the robot would travel, then coded the machine for the rotation and power needed to maneuver it into the right place.
In setting up these tasks, teachers aimed to create immersive experiences for their students to engage in. As the students practiced their program skills, they naturally developed a problem-solving approach to learning. This practical challenge gave our Bangkok Elementary School classes an authentic and fun opportunity to conceptualize measurement techniques while improving their own skills.
The team-based structure of these lessons let students work through problems together, showing an impressive ability to learn from each other. Teams first needed to identify the problem, then communicate and collaborate to find a workable solution. Students demonstrated a good understanding of basic measurement concepts, aided by their conversation. They were able to immediately see the fruits of their efforts, applying their solutions using the iPads, robots, and layouts the teachers had prepared for them.
For our teachers, they were pleased to see their students excited and engaged with every challenge. The students were able to break problems down into steps, while also taking an interest in robotics and coding.
Patterns of knowledge
Students examined the power of patterns by learning about tessellations, and how pure mathematics can also be used to make beautiful art. One ISB teacher expressed delight at watching students embrace the ideas of geometry, play around with shapes, challenge each other to come up with even more interesting tessellations, and maintain a spirited interest in the practical applications of this field.
Our teachers loved seeing students in different grades accept each other as equal learners, and work together to solve problems. These efforts succeeded because the flexibility and creativity of each task allowed students to express genuine agency and voice.
Other projects included an algorithm where students needed to figure out rules and equations of increasing complexity. The students’ excitement at each moment of insight was heartening to see.
A few learning coaches and one Middle School teacher joined in to help, making this another example of cross-grade collaboration between staff and teachers from different parts of the school.
The ISB students involved saw themselves as learning partners despite their age differences, and thus could work together successfully through a variety of challenging projects. Through it all, our students demonstrated several of ISB’s core Values and Attributes, including:
ISB initiatives like “The Power of Patterns” show how our learning philosophy leads to more creative, confident and capable students, in Elementary School and beyond.