March 8– Kindergartners are learning to program with colorful Bee-Bots, little robots designed to teach young students counting, sequencing, estimation, and problem-solving. And they’re fun!
“I created mats for students to program the Bee-Bots to travel across and then record their algorithms,” teacher Cindy Valloni explained.
Each of her mats is different. One uses sight words; students read the sight words as the Bee-Bot moves across the squares. Another mat uses illustrations, and students are challenged to use beginning sounds. A challenge might look like this: “Start on the picture that begins with the /m/ sound and program your Bee-Bot to get to the picture with the /y/ sound.” There is also a mat with numbers; students roll the dice, add the numbers, and then program the Bee-Bot to get to that number.
“I give a mat and a programming sheet with specific directions to each group,” Mrs. Valloni said. “Once they find one way to get to the end, they can then create a more difficult code sending their Bee-Bot all around the mat until it reaches the desired location. All the while students need to make sure they are writing down their code once they get it right!”
Rippowam Cisqua School is a PreK-Grade 9 independent day school in Westchester County, New York. RCS offers challenging academics built on innovation, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, wellness, leadership, service learning, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.