Apps, Critical Thinking, Education, K-5, Teaching Tools

Daisy the Dinosaur and Systems Thinking

I’ve been using this blog and Pinterest to promote the importance of teaching programming to students for awhile now. One of the benefits that I see is how coding makes natural connections to Systems Thinking.

Nested Systems Task Card

Some of my favorite FREE programming apps are:  Daisy the Dinosaur, Cargo-Bot, and Hopscotch.

While these are definitely fun apps, they can also help our students to learn some valuable life lessons.  I sat down this weekend to come up with some task cards that would help my students (K-5) relate Daisy the Dinosaur to some of the Systems Thinking tenets that we cover in class.  Depending on the level of the student, these can be done as a class, independently, at a station, or in groups.  I thought it might be fun to show them on the big screen, and use Socrative for some of their responses.

These are designed to be activities done after the students have had a chance to play Daisy the Dinosaur in “Challenge” mode, and some time to experiment with “Freeplay.” They do not have to have access to the iPad at the time they are doing the activities below, however.

Systems Thinking Tenet #1 – If you want different results, you can’t keep doing the same exact thing.  (PPT, PDF)

Systems Thinking Tenet #2 – You can do things differently (sometimes more efficiently) and still get the same results. (PPT, PDF)

Systems Thinking Tenet #3 – When you have a problem, find the true source, or your “fix” could make things worse.  (PPT, PDF)

Systems Thinking Tenet #4 – The objects within a system are interdependent. (PPT, PDF)

Systems Thinking Tenet #5 – There are often systems nested within systems. (PPT, PDF)

2 thoughts on “Daisy the Dinosaur and Systems Thinking”

  1. I would really like to include your task cards in a free iBook I am creating to promote coding in the primary classroom. I am working on this project as an expectation as an Apple Distinguished Educator. Please email me at the address I have included in this comment (if it lets you see it) or please follow and message me @MrCarlsonK. Thanks for your time!

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