Bee-Bots are a big hit with kindergartners and first-graders at Chickering Elementary School in Dover, Massachusetts. Stephen Harte, Technology Integrator at Chickering Elementary, introduced Bee-Bots and Bee-Bot mats to his students who responded by creating games and exercises that incorporate them. Mr. Harte filmed the students using Bee-Bots and shared the results on his TheTechIntegrator channel on YouTube. Images here provide links to the videos.
First-graders use Bee-Bot and the Alphabet Mat to reinforce classroom spelling words. Working in pairs, each student selects a “trick word” from their spelling list and enters commands to move Bee-Bot to each letter in the trick word. Pushing the Pause button at the right place in the program stops Bee-Bot briefly on the specified letter before moving on to the next. Students never forget their vocabulary words while learning sequencing, counting, and directionality.
Kindergartners work in teams to create mazes or obstacle courses for Bee-Bot to traverse directly on the linoleum classroom floor. Each team makes a unique obstacle course with its own twists and turns for Bee-Bot to navigate. Careful planning is required to enter the sequence of Bee-Bot commands that send Bee-Bot around the twists and turns in the obstacle course to complete it successfully.
First-graders use Bee-Bot and the Coin Mat to learn about money and counting. Students choose an amount of money to gather and then program Bee-Bot to move around the Coin Mat to “pick up” that quantity by pausing on the square with the amount required. Students learn to identify each coin and its value and to sum the amounts together to achieve the total goal.
Working together in teams of two, first-graders choose a number as a goal. Utilizing forward and back commands, students move Bee-Bot back and forth on a number line to “count” to their number goal by pausing on each component number on the line. Each member of the team must arrive at the same number in a different way which can involve adding multiple numbers together or even subtraction.