Our First Graders are having a great time with coding this year!
We started in December with the Kodable app in order to provide a fun and engaging experience with sequence, planning, problem solving and perseverance. Coding is great for all of these thinking skills. We also noticed that kids really need a lot of opportunities to try, try again, then try multiple times, to work through problems. They seem to think that if they don't get it right the first time, that they are not capable of figuring it out on their own. Coding helps build a positive attitude towards failure, retrying, and perseverance.
Then, we moved on to the Bee Bot App, but not before they had worked with our real Bee Bots. Our First Grade purchased sets of Bee Bots and blank mats from Terrapin Tools for Learning. These are the small robots that are programmed to move forward, backward, left or right by pressing a button on top. Here are some video clips of students in Mrs. Alden's and Mr. Sokness's 1st Grade class using their Bee Bots on mats that have been customized to concepts they are working on.
When asked to comment about their student's experiences with Bee Bots, Joel Sokness summed up the perseverance and cooperative benefits by describing the building up of an attitude of patience, a can do attitude: "I didn’t get it but I’ll figure this out"
He has noticed that students are developing a sense of communication, "If they didn’t get something, rather than getting frustrated they’ll ask a friend, so they’re working on being cooperative with one another and working as a team.It’s amazing."
Pam Alden talked about the importance of programming the actual Bee Bot, and then transferring that understanding to controlling the Bee Bot on the iPad, "It’s important for them to have the hands on, actually controlling the buttons on the little bugs; then it’s important for them to control the buttons on the ipads."
"It’s great that they can compare the difference between the two... because they have worked with the actual Bee Bots it brings a whole new meaning and better understanding to the app."
Hi, I'm Margie Brown, an Educational Technologist at Valley View Elementary School in Eanes ISD. I love working with students and teachers and discovering new digital tips and tricks everyday!
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