Ayub and Sulaiman have been attending Bricks4Kidz for around a year. It's a LEGO class!…
Ayub Falls Behind In Early Robotics While Sulaiman Excels
The boys take an early robotics LEGO class once a week at Bricks4Kidz and they absolutely love it.
Last week they built a little car and learned how to program it to move forwards and backwards using an iPad.
At the end of the class this is what I saw:
- Sulaiman sitting quietly, listening to the teacher explain, then pressing the ‘Play’ button to make his car move
- Ayub attempting to breakdance by spinning himself on his butt across the room
Writing their own robotics sequence
Their teachers smiled at me and told me how wonderful Sulaiman is. That he’s great at listening, paying attention, asking for clarification, then executing instructions. They added that Ayub was not so interested and didn’t stay to watch the tutorial.
I wasn’t surprised to find Ayub rolling around the floor. But I was surprised that he didn’t show an interest in programming. I always thought this would be his thing. He hadn’t even touched the iPad yet.
After watching Sulaiman move his car back and forth with the sequence the teacher had set, his teacher encouraged Ayub to try.
After all of us calling Ayub about half a million times, the kid finally came bounding towards us, took the iPad from Sulaiman and then…
He wrote his own sequence.
It’s a drag and drop kind of software, where you select what movement you want then add it to the sequence along with special instructions (e.g. colour change, length of time that movement should be done etc.)
Ayub dragged and dropped and created a completely new sequence. He pressed play. The little LEGO car followed his sequence. He stopped it, added edits, and pressed play again.
I am forever blown away by this kid. I forget that he consumes information differently from the rest of us. I guess the whole time he was scooting around the room on his butt, he was actually paying attention. He didn’t need to watch the tutorial or listen to the lesson. He took one look at the program and figured it out.
But then, this week, things were different.
Ayub couldn’t keep up in LEGO class
I assume Ayub’s method of information consumption isn’t quite as effective as I had hoped. This week’s class was more complex. The boys built a see-saw and the program, though simple, was more complicated than the back and forth car the week before.
Again, Sulaiman was a superstar. He was sitting quietly and handling the iPad. Asking questions and modifying his sequence. Ayub wasn’t interested this week. He only wanted to create and build. I also think he simply couldn’t keep up with this new set of instructions. Too much for him to process.
And now I’m worried about him again.
Ayub is falling behind in school
The past few weeks he’s been doing badly at school. His teacher has been letting me know that he’s been exceptionally distracted and hasn’t been completing his classwork. A little out of control. But why? Nothing has changed at home. We’re always on schedule, very predictably, nothing out of the ordinary.
First I thought perhaps he was too comfortable at school. That he had become complacent. Or perhaps with new kids joining the class, he was just having too much fun playing and couldn’t concentrate.
After today, however, I’m beginning to suspect he hasn’t paid attention for long enough to understand the higher levels of his classwork. He’s falling behind because he didn’t get past the basic introductory level.
I don’t know how to help him.