Kathy Cassidy holds professional development sessions for teachers about using technology in their classrooms, including the use of robots and she also teaches First Grade at Westmount School in Moose Jaw, Canada.
In her own classroom students recently began to use Bee-Bot as an entry into programing and coding. First, as a way to learn about how Bee-Bot works and the variety of commands available, they worked in groups to lay out a sequence of actions to get Bee-Bot to travel to a specific square. Kathy said that through this hands on process the children could see different groups choosing different routes to get to the same place. She says that “there was lots of trial and error learning and eventually the students discovered that there were many ways to accomplish the same task.”
Kathy became very creative with her use of Bee-Bot in the classroom. Here she describes how she, and Bee-Bot, helped students who were struggling to understand the concept of one and two more and less than a number. She used floor tape to make a twenty space, one column grid, and had the students put the numbers from one to twenty in their places on the grid to make a number line.
“The students and I then talked about the concepts of more and less with the Bee-Bot. Which way would the Bee-Bot go on the number line if a number was more? Less? The forward and back arrows on the Bee-Bot were an effective visual representation of this. Before we programmed the Bee-Bot to move, I placed the Bee-Bot somewhere on the number line grid and posed questions such as “where will the Bee-Bot stop on the number line if the number was two more?” or “what if the Bee-Bot moves to one less than this number? Where will it stop?” I had the students write their names on a sticky note and predict where the Bee-Bot would be at the end of the program. Once everyone had made their prediction, one of the students programmed Bee-Bot to move the specified number of spaces and we watched to see who had made the correct predictions. On the first couple of attempts, some of the students had difficulty, but soon all the students were able to accurately predict what one or two more or less would be. Success using the Bee-Bot for this practical and fun visual representation!”
Kathy documents her student's progress with Bee-Bot and other classroom activities on her blog http://mscassidysclass.edublogs.org/ and you can see many pictures of her students using Bee-Bot on her Flickr page https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=57634636%40N00&sort=date-taken-desc&view_all=1&text=beebot