I love robots!
I love robots, I mean I REALLY love robots. I love what it does for kids. How it amazes them, how it empowers them, how it reaches them like nothing else. I don’t consider myself “techie” ( my own kids will agree), but somehow this “no tech” person has been coaching robotics for the last 8 years. Prepare for the shamless plug… all of those years my team made it to the state championship. I have had a front-row seat to what robotics does for kids.
You can see, the wheels turning in kids’ heads.
I was able to see, literally you can see, the wheels turning in kids’ heads. Kids solve complex problems using robotics. So it makes perfect sense to use robotics to teach kids…..anything. Kindergarten is the perfect time to get started with robots. I never met a kindergarten child who was afraid to push a button. Their willingness to take risks with technology is far greater than people (ahem) of my generation.
So where do you start? I start with BEE-BOTs. If you haven’t tried BeeBots buy them here.
If you have, you already know the power of this simple but amazing little robot. I start the year with simple straight mats. To begin, I just have the kids use the clear button, the forward button, and the go button. I give the kids cards that tell them where to go and then they program the robot to that spot. The cheers that erupt when the BeeBot makes it to it’s intended target is a joy to behold.
Here is a video of my kids using the BEEBOT to learn about the life cycle of the frog.
Watch my kids reading sight words using their BEEBOT
I just started using BEEBOTs to spell and read word families
Once the kids learn to program the robot in a straight line you can introduce turns. Now the fun really begins. You can use the robot to teach reading, math science, anything you can think of. The kids love the robot so much that even if they struggle with a topic or skill they are so much more willing to make mistakes with the robot. If you don’t already have a BeeBot make sure you check it out. It would make a quick and easy Donors Choose project. If you already have one check out my BeeBot resources.