Ignite learning for your youngest students with Bee Bots.
Using BeeBot robots to engage your students is easier than you might think. I have seen first hand how using a BeeBot in my class can engage my students. When I bring out a BeeBot my students are fully “in”. Year after year my students consistently love using coding to make their BeeBot move.
Robots and coding are magical.
A BeeBot is a small programmable robot that will engage your young learners in a way that will amaze you. I have been using BeeBots with my kindergarten students for about 10 years. What I have learned is that robots and coding are magical. Allowing kids to use their hands and their minds at the same time is both a pleasure and an honor to watch. When you program a BeeBot your students will need to use critical thinking skills. When students code they need to think about how what they do next will impact the step after that and the step after that. This kind of complex thinking of holding one idea in their head while simultaneously thinking about the next step doesn’t happen all the time. The skills they use with the BeeBot will have major impact on reading, writing and math skills.
A BeeBot is a small programmable robot that uses simple commands: straight, back, right and left. That’s it. It is perfect for kindergarteners because it is an entry-level coding experience, but oh what you can do with those 4 simple commands. You can program a BeeBot to go to a target on a mat, create a dance, follow a maze, move an object from one place to the other, draw, and even pick up paper clips with a magnet. The opportunities are only as endless as your imagination.
Start with content they know
My favorite way to start Using BeeBots is with content my kids know.
I don’t want to muddy the waters with content that is new. My favorite place to start is with color matching with a straight mat. I have my students choose a card. The card has a color, then they have to find the same color on the mat. Now the fun begins, they build their algorithm ( An algorithm is simple the steps you need to take to complete a task.)
As a class we count how many “straights” it will take to get to the target. We “write” out our algorithm with programming cards. Straight, Straight, Straight, Go
Then I have a student “read the algorithm. As they read a card, they press the button – their favorite part. Then turn that card over. They continue until all the steps have been programmed. They they press GO.
Your students will have mastered writing and reading an algorithm.
Be prepared for an eruption of cheers when the BeeBot makes it to his target. In your first lesson your kids will have mastered writing, and reading an algorithm, and they will have programmed their robot.
When I am using the BeeBot in a whole group I usually let 3 or 4 kids have a turn. Then we put the BeeBot and the mat away until the next time.
You can get a copy of this BeeBot mat here
Do you need a BEE BOT? Here’s a link