3 ways to teach kids to code in maths lessons

23 Jul 2020 | Ideas for Teaching & Learning, Primary

Teaching kids to code, especially through cross-curricular lessons could seem like quite an ask. But coding robots offer many opportunities for covering the maths curriculum in your classroom, whilst equipping your pupils with basic coding skills. Whilst they may initially feel like a big investment, they offer real value through their curricular adaptability and longevity.

You can use any coding robot to teach kids to code, but we’ve used E.a.R.L from Hope Education for the examples. We find the best learning happens when you have groups of 3 or 4 pupils to each robot. Coding robots that are aimed at KS1, like E.a.R.L will commonly have easy-to-press buttons and provide a quick input to output experience for children.

You can have multiple coding robots running in the class at once, with each linked to a separate laptop and Scratch program. This gives the opportunity for each group to try the experiments and sums at their own pace!


Teaching coding through measuring distance

Equip the groups with their own measuring devices, try 1m rulers or measuring tapes. E.a.R.L moves in straight lines, so task each group to find out how far he moves in one single movement forward, then by two or more movements. Can they measure it in mm? in cm? in metres and then convert between each one?


Teach coding through measuring time and speed

Using E.a.R.L’s movements, the groups can use stopwatches to measure how long it takes him to get from point A to B. This doesn’t always have to be a linear movement though, when the pupils are comfortable, get them to add in turns to mix up the amount of time taken. How long to do a full loop back to where he started? Can they work out the speed he moves at, too?


Teach coding and addition, subtraction and multiplication

Coding robots can be used to bring to life basic mathematical principles for pupils. Try using a number line mat to work with numbers between 1 and 20, play around with making E.a.R.L drive to two different numbers on the line, and ask pupils to write them down and complete the sum! This idea works with addition, subtraction and multiplication.

Using coding robots can be a memorable experience for children, try coupling one with your next maths lesson and see if you can entice your young learners into a love of maths!

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