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Coding (and more!) with Bee-Bot

Coding (and more!) with Bee-Bot

When you think coding, you probably envision a so-called “nerd” hidden behind a computer typing furiously, as strings of letters, numbers, and symbols scroll across the screen. And to some extent, this image is correct. But when we talk about teaching coding in Elementary, Kinder especially, coding takes on a completely different form, and it is WAY fun!

Very simply, coding can be defined as writing a set of instructions that a computer can understand. 

So coding could be typing lines and lines of text on a computer, but for our purposes, it’s pushing some arrow-shaped buttons to make a robot move.

Bee-Bot is a super cute bee shaped robot that is fun, friendly, and accessible to our young learners. Its eyes light up. It makes cute sounds.  It has all the qualifications to be the cutest toy ever PLUS it teaches basic coding skills. {I got mine from Lakeshore Learning!}

Here’s how we’re using it so far:

  • Learning positional words

    Getting Bee-Bot to move like we want can be tricky. It requires counting, sequencing, and knowing the difference between left and right. Having students verbalize the steps before pushing the buttons has been a HUGE help in getting them to be successful.

    Of course, there are times when we push a wrong button or push forward too many times. And for that, we introduce “debugging”, which is the process of identifying and fixing and error in your code. It’s a big fancy word, but the concept is simple and the result is critical thinking and fun!

  • Letter of the Day

    Once students mastered the basics, we added sticky notes to our grid  as a “start” and “finish” line. The green sticky note is where Bee-Bot starts, and the pink/orange sticky note with the letter of the day is the finish line. Students take turns placing the letter on the mat and programming Bee-Bot to reach its goal. The squeals of delight every time they “win” are the absolute best!

  • Creating Mazes



    Now that STEM has grown into STEAM, I try to incorporate creativity and the arts wherever I can. Students can create Bee-Bot mazes out of any materials they have in the classroom and then program it through the maze. This one is great for teaching measurement (Bee-Bot moves 6 inches at a time), problem solving, and collaboration!

 

Have you tried any coding robots in your classroom? Share your story below!


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