Anyone who know me, knows I am the queen of buying things on a budget! I've managed to get robots for my classroom just by raiding garage sales or looking online at discount stores. My Sphero cost me $30 and works perfectly (used). Beebot and a mat were a little more expensive, coming in at just over $100 (new).
So, I've got these nifty robots at the ready to connect with learning and get kids engaged, but also to integrate coding and problem solving! How on earth do I do this with just a singular robot in a class with 24 students?
Looking through online pages, there are so many wonderful ideas from schools and teachers who have access to many robots (usually one per table group or 1 between 2). However, my budget bots aren't nearly enough to match what they're doing in the examples or to cater to suit the amount of students I have. So I've come up with a solution. It embeds KAGAN cooperative structures and iPads too (we have 1 iPad between 2 students available).
As our learning intentions are about directionality and the vocabulary surrounding this, I thought it would tie in nicely to use robots and embed foundations of coding.
Here an example lesson structure:
Introduce WALT & WILF. Discuss positional vocabulary with students on the mat. Demonstrate Beebot and how he/she moves (maybe also give Beebot a name). Give examples of how Beebot can get to positions on the learning mat. Have students make predictions with a shoulder partner about the direction Beebot needs to travel in, to get to a particular point (using the vocab words).
Students will work with their shoulder partner (in mixed abilities) to scan a QR code and connect with the Google Slide questions, before record their coding answers. They will do so using the KAGAN Cooperative structure 'Rally Coach'.
Person A discusses their answer to the question with their partner, before Person B either agrees or coaches. Person A then records the answer on their communal board, before they continue with the next question (swapping roles).
At the end of the session Partners will bring their code with them to the mat. Students will be selected to trial their code on the class robot, discuss the solution and their reasoning (embedding the positional vocabulary), presenting their work to peers. Mistakes are encouraged because it means we are learning. Of course, before we finish we also revise the WALT and WILF for the day.
Below are some resources if you're interested! We will continue our learning, using more coding resources, Beebot, Sphero and Apps as we progress through our sequence of lessons. Another post will be available soon about using Beebot in a Literacy and Numeracy centre.
- Miss Dodds
Old fashioned teaching and learning has a time and place still in the classroom. However, our students are growing up in a world immersed in technology. Not only do we need to provide them with skills to cope in this growing tech-filled environment, but we can also enhance their ability to learn content through creative, digital formats.