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!”