First up in our mini series of Cubetto in the community is Foxglove Montessori Nursery, an independent nursery school in the heart of Stowmarket in Suffolk, who started using Cubetto last summer. Cubetto was introduced to 48 children, with the aim of exploring the concept of programming – here’s what happened!
Institution: Foxglove Montessori Nursery
Age group: 3 to 5
Group size: 4 children
Session leader: Louise King, Principal at Foxglove Montessori Nursery
Date: Summer 2015
“Cubetto proved to be very versatile with endless learning possibilities.”
How did you incorporate the Cubetto Playset into your lesson?
Cubetto was incorporated during the children’s work cycle by first introducing the idea of programming. After a group discussion, I introduced Cubetto and to the class. We then put this into action in pairs and small groups.
Overall, what worked well and what were the successes?
Working in small groups of 4 worked very well with this age group as it helped them to learn from each other.
What skills did Cubetto help to develop?
Cubetto helped pupils to grasp new concepts and vocabulary, such as algorithms, basic robotics, and functions. At the same time, activities with Cubetto exercised soft skills, as it encouraged team work, spacial awareness, and thinking ahead. I also worked with some children on estimating distances, which extended the maths beyond counting and matching. We created stories of where Cubetto was travelling to, where he lives, and what he eats, which helped to promote communication and language skills.
How did staff members respond?
Very positively. For most of the instructors, the first time they actually touched and used the kit was on the first day of class. They all found it very accessible.
How did pupils respond?
The children really enjoyed learning with Cubetto. Those who had already used Cubetto asked if they could use it again every day. When children were observing, they remained enthusiastic and helped by giving ‘advice’! Younger pupils, who initially demonstrated a bit of frustration when using Cubetto, took the opportunity to welcome the ideas of others.
“A boy aged 4 years with limited speech and possible autism engaged with Cubetto straight away. He was very focused on where he wanted Cubetto to travel and did not require any adult support. He celebrated his success with cheers and clapping, and immediately repeated the same activity three times.”
What were the main outcomes?
Overall, Cubetto promoted personal, social and emotional development as it encouraged them to work together, take turns, and show respect. I am confident that it would be used frequently if it was on the classroom shelf.