A couple of years ago, I was reading a post on Erintegration by Erin Flanagan on the game Scoot. The game works with students answering one question at their desks and then move to the next seat when the teacher calls “Scoot.” This usually works by giving students blank paper or whiteboards and have them write questions or have them all turn to the same page in a workbook and Scoot to complete the page. The questions can range from: “Today I feel?” to writing down an adjective to describe an object or picture. Erin created a great way of playing Scoot using both iPads and Chromebooks and playing a special playlist on with songs cut to be 3 minutes long each so students work until the song ends and then Scoot. The last couple of weeks, my division leader and I have been using the Pair Programming Method. Click on the video below to see how the Pair Programming Method Works.
Pair Programming works on the Driver/Navigator Method.
Paired programming is a buddy-system approach where you have two people working on one computer to complete a task or project. You have a “driver” and a “navigator”. As you work through your project, you are asked to start as one of these persons (your teacher will assign the driver and navigator each day at the start the class). Then you will be told to “switch” roles. The switching of roles is timed; you are NOT to change roles until you are told to “switch”. This process will continue until you finish your project or until the class ends.
Guidelines for Paired Programming
- Roles Responsibilities:
- Driver: person at the keyboard.
- Types and inserts all information into the software based on the time assigned.
- The driver is required to talk out loud, telling the navigator every step being taken. In other words, you are explaining step-by-step, what you are doing. When you are typing, you are talking and explaining.
- Navigator: the person “observing” or “problem solving”.
- Driver: person at the keyboard.
- The Navigators are to observe quietly, listening to each step the driver is making and thinking ahead to where the project is heading. At no time may the navigator take over the keyboard.
- The Navigator may write down on paper the changes you want to see happen, or you can keep a mental note of the changes, but at NO time can the Navigator speak or interrupt the driver. At NO time may they take over the keyboard or interfere with the work of the driver.
- Time: Upon assignment of roles, each partner will be given 10 minutes to work as driver and navigator. The teacher tells the students when to begin the paired programming process. At the end of the 10 minutes, they are to switch roles.
- During this time, the driver talks, explaining what s/he is doing as s/he is creating slides and inserting information for the project. The navigator is quiet, listening, watching for problems, checking out good design of the slide(s), and making notations (on paper or mentally). (NOTE: the teacher and aid usually will be walking around the room making sure that you are keeping to the rules of paired programming).
- If at any point, the navigator gets lost or does not understand what the driver is doing (this may include not agreeing with the driver), the navigator is to say, “Sync”. Sync means that the driver must stop and reconnect with the navigator. Sync is usually needed if the “driver” works without communicating out loud with the navigator and starts doing her/his own thing. The “driver” may also call out “sync” if the navigator begins talking out loud, distracting the driver from completing the task at hand.
- If “sync” is called, both the driver and navigator need to stop what they are doing and reconnect by discussing the problem(s) and working out the issues at hand so that the task may be completed. As soon as the team has worked out the problem, they continue as “driver” and “navigator”. Calling “sync” does not allow the driver and navigator to switch places. The only time that they can switch roles is when time is called. If the navigator wants to add. insert or delete something in a slide, but the driver does not know how to complete the task, the navigator may talk the driver through the process; however, this is an exception, not a rule. Normally the navigator is to be quiet and problem solve.
- Teacher/Aide Interaction: When a student raises their hand for assistance, make sure the student has discussed the issue with your teammate. When a student asks a question, the teacher/aide will ask them questions such as, “What you have done to try and solve the problem?” “How do you think you can solve it?” “Have you reviewed the handouts to search for the problem?” Teacher interaction is not meant to “give answers” but to help students discover on your own how your team can identify and solve the problem. The teacher/aide will expect both teammates to be involved in the discussion, not just one person.
Switching: at the end of the 10 minutes, students will switch roles. This process will continue until you have completed their project.
Now, after this happens, you go to the next phase of playing Scoot. If you are using either Microsoft Office, iCloud Suite or Google Drive. There are notes sections in each program that can be open to provide feedback. For 2-3 Minutes, the class will play Scoot and move from desk to desk. They are to view each project and put down feedback in the 2-3 minutes while music is playing. They are to critique their peers’ projects, but they cannot be negative in their critiques, they must be constructive. After the time ends, students “scoot” to the next station and continue on until they return to their original seats. After that, students resume the Pair Programming until class is finished.
This a great way for not only providing feedback but also reflection on their projects. If you want more of Erin’s great Scoot Activities in the classroom. Visit her blog.