My Year 2 class has been using Bee-bots to consolidate concepts of position. It’s fantastic for helping them become more familiar with left and right – which many of the children find quite difficult. The computer Bee-bots have been a real hit also to practise spelling words each week.
Year 1 have been doing various lessons with the Bee Bots. In one lesson, students were grouped in mixed ability groups and given and an activity card each. On this activity card there was a “mission” for the Bee Bots to complete. Each group had to read the “mission” and then write down the Bee Bot program on a sheet of paper. Each student was given a role so that every child was involved in the activity. Once the program was written down the group was given the actual Bee Bot to program and follow the program written down. Teachers checked if the Bee Bot accomplished the mission. If the mission was accomplished the group moved onto the next activity. Each activity got more and more complex. The Bee Bots have beed a great learning and teaching tool. They have been used across various KLA’s. The Bee Bots are great for students working on all levels and ensure that differentiation is apparent in lessons. The students really enjoyed working with the Bee Bots.
Sadly, the bee bots flew away to their new home at the end of term 2 but they regularly come for a visit in our 1/2 class. I found the beebots to be an exceptional resource when teaching Maths. Some topics which we have been using our beebots include position, measurement, volume and capacity and of course number.
Our position lesson using the bee bots involved the students building and guiding a beebot around an obstacle course. Students worked in pairs and using pre-made direction cards they instructed their partner which buttons to push/which direction to guide the beebot in. Another position lesson found students directing their bee bots to find hidden objects using coordinates.
During a measurement activity students were first asked to measure one beebot step. Secondly, students were given a problem solving card with a place listed i.e. shops/home etc. Students had to count how many beebot steps it took the beebot to visit that place. Students used arrays to work out the cm’s from one place to another.
I have loved reading about the fantastic lessons everyone is doing with their beebots. It gives me great ideas about lessons I would like to teach.
A bit of fun
This week at BP we tried to think outside the box for how we use Bee-Bots in our Stage 1 classes. Two of our Year 1 classes combine once a week for a combined Bee-Bot lesson in the school hall. Each group has worked on a different concept including time and 2D shapes, using printed resources under a transparent mat. This week however, we wanted to see how our students could solve a problem. One group was given 15cm x15cm ‘Bee-Bot Tiles’ and a set of toy dinosaurs, trees, rocks etc to make a maze. Students needed to work collaboratively to develop a plan to construct a course for the Bee-Bot to navigate around. They used the tiles to make sure the path was wide enough for the Bee-Bot to navigate. As they wanted the path to be longer than the amount of tiles they had one member recorded instructions on a white board so tiles could then be taken and added to the end of the course. This task incorporated measurement, direction, team work and problem solving. It was highly engaging for all group members. Students then presented their maze to the class, talking through the process they used.
This week we used Bee Bots as the platform for our writing. Students took on the role of Pirate Bee Bot and sent a letter to a fellow pirate whose ship had recently been sunk/lost. Using the Treasure Map, Pirate Bee Bot was offering to give directions to his friend to help him find the treasure that would allow him to buy another ship. Students could place the treasure at any point on the map and had to give specific directions in a procedural form. As they completed their letters students were able to test their diections using the robots or the computer software.
I’m lucky enough to have support from our school’s technology co-ordinator each week to maximise the success of our project. This week we were able to have students using the Bee Bots directly or working with the Bee Bot computer software on a laptop using the recently installed wireless network. It was wonderful! No one felt like they were missing out on the learning fun. Students were totally engaged and helping each other out. Some students buried treasure on the treasure island map while others had to give directions to find all of a particular shape on the 2d shape mat. The children that were using the mats had to plan their pathway and then check that it worked.Once again we sometimes had Bee Bots turning in circles and not arriving at their destination, however, the children kept trying. Students using the software were asked to play and learn. It was a great session.