Things that beep and flash and go forward and backwards and turn are fun.
Imagine combining all that fun with education?
Bee Bots do just that.
A Bee Bot is a small, rechargeable, programmable robot. Bee Bots are less than $100 — which makes them perfect for a Donors Choose Grant. And the DIY Mats are less than $5 each.
Best of all — they’re simple to use. With each push of a button, the Bee Bot moves a specific distance — either forward, backward, right or left. Used with one of my mats, which are designed with an array of squares, the students program the Bee Bot to move through the squares to get to a desired spot. Along the way, they learn a lesson. They might not even notice that it is a lesson — because they’re having so much fun!
I use Bee Bots to teach vocabulary, life cycles, sight words — as well as simple addition and subtraction. You can watch my video to see how I get started with Bee Bots.
The best part is that your students will learn to think creatively in order to program the robot. There is no one way to get to the end spot. I find it fascinating to see into their minds — to notice if they take the most direct route or the most convoluted route.
For example, let’s say the lesson is about reading sight words. The students have to program the Bee Bot to navigate through all the squares and to land on the correct sight word. You should see their reactions! When the Bee Bot starts moving toward the word, their eyes light up. When it lands on the word, they let out a cheer!
Bee Bots can be used with the whole class or in smaller groups or even individually. Students can learn to be part of a group and the collaboration that takes, or they can solve the problem on their own, learning how to rely on themselves. Either way — they have fun as they learn.
Do you want your students to snap to attention? Just say, “Time for Bee Bots.” You’ll never have to say it twice. You’ll never have to urge them to pay attention. You only have to start the lesson — and then watch the enthusiasm.
Finally, we all know that we all have too much to do. So — please don’t think of a Bee Bot as another thing to do. Think of a Bee Bot as a tool that you can use to do the basic things you have to do. You’re not teaching robotics — you’re using a robot to teach ELA and math. Your students will pick it up quicker with Bee Bots — actually saving you time.
Now, if they learn robotics and logic and problem solving along the way to reading a word — so much the better!
All the best,