Mats for the bots

So when I knew that our bots had been ordered and were on their way I began to look at mats for the kids to use with them. I do plan on having them use classroom materials to create their own mazes and things however the mats make for fairly quick easy lesson.

The problem is the mats I found online were too expensive. See the mats here on the BeeBot site. I did print somethings mainly the map mat pieces from Communication 4 All.


Elementary Robotics

So with Hour of Code such a big hit in my building the past few years, and my fifth graders starting the year by asking if we could do robots this year I approached my district STEM coordinator to ask if there were any funds we could use.  See in my district the elementary technology special is a classroom assistant position.  This means that I have little predetermined curriculum, which can be a positive or negative.  I plan, teach, informally assess, and manage classes in my own classroom that I maintain (and I’m lucky to have a classroom some TCAs in the district travel in their buildings) I am on a CA salary, it also means there is no budget set aside for me to order materials.  I have been incredibly lucky in that my administration has provided quite a bit for me. When I spoke to the STEM coordinator he loved the idea of getting robots in the elementary as we have Robotics clubs in middle and high school already.

I requested the BeeBot and ProBot . My awesome STEM coordinator ordered three of each.  Since they arrived we’ve been having lots of fun trying them out.


The BeeBots are adorable, names to be determined as the kids are currently voting between Bizzy, Bitsy, Bob, Honey, and BB (hmm think Star Wars is popular lol). I’m loving the additional functionality of the ProBots with my intermediate kiddos, they also have names to be determined and that list includes: Herbie (I was so happy at the number of kiddos that know Herbie), Lightning, Thunder, Lucky, Racer, Lola,  and Finn (between Star Wars and Cars 2 I have a feeling this one is going to be a winner)

To start out I’ve let the kids just experiment with the bots. K -2 have tried BeeBots only, 4 & 5 have tried both but are primarily working with ProBots. I have one 3rd grade class that comes to my room with their teacher at least once a week when I don’t have any other classes (3rd takes strings in my district) and they’re using both.

Get BeeBot from the flower to the hive.


Drawing their own map

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How can we get BeeBot from the start to the 16?


Let’s make BeeBot a Spelling Bee


Again getting BeeBot home to the hive


Guess what ProBot can hold a pen/marker and we can draw shapes




How strong is BeeBot? Can they push one another?


ProBot drives under the human bridges (my fifth graders crack me up sometimes)


and just because it’s cute/creepy here is BeeBot charging


Hour of Code 2

So I had way too many pics to share last post, time to share some more.

Fifth graders creating programming board games, inspired by Robot Turtles for the younger grades to play

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More fifth grade – presenters from Monsanto IT that spoke about IT careers and then helped the kids with their HoC activity

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Minecraft HoC from

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Other Hour of Code activities from done with buddy classes

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One last set of pics, we have a student at our school who is blind and I wanted that student to be able to participate in HoC as well, this was my quick solution

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Hour of Code 1

This has to have been the best Hour of Code I’ve been a part of yet. I’ve only done HoC with for three years.  I discovered it quite by accident as a member of a technology teachers ning but was excited at the idea. So my classes that year all did the HoC activity at Kindy and first completed it with me on the SMART board, 2nd began on the SMARTboard then moved to their own computers, while fourth and fifth completed the whole thing on their computers.  The kids were so into it that 2nd, 4th, and 5th continued with the Beyond Hour of Code lessons there on

Last year we expanded into some of the other HoC offerings as well as some of the Tynker offerings.

This year, online testing was scheduled in my district at the same time as HoC so some of our activities were online and others were paper programming. I have a bunch of pics I’m sharing and it will definitely take more than one post.

Kindergarten: Students wrote the program to get baby Flurb home to mom or dad on the maps I made.

flurb map 2 flurb map 1

They then made their own flurb map (flurbs are furry little creatures that aren’t so smart) they then asked a friend to program the flurb to make it home, to mom or dad, to grandparents, some added steps beyond that. I had kindy kiddos asking others to program their flurb to pick up dad, go to the store to get food, then go home. It was awesome!

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As I don’t see third grade at all, and see only some of the fourth and fifth grade students, those grades were invited to come down with their buddy class to complete a programming activity.  On the days we didn’t have computers the kids did some keyboard programming. I was trying to find a way to combine keyboarding with programming so students were asked to be the computer first and follow the program I had created to find the secret message then they became the programmer and created a program for their own secret message

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KeyboardCode This is the master for this activity

and here are the secret message programs I wrote



keyboard code 1 keyboard code 2 keyboard code 3 keyboard code 4

Busy year

Wow I can’t believe I haven’t posted all year. Well actually I can it’s been a very busy year. I have more classes this year than ever before. I’m trying to implement some new things in those classes so time to do anything else has fallen by the wayside. However I’m going to do my best to post at least weekly. I know I want to share how Hour of Code went in my building this year, that might be two posts all by itself. Then there’s the new robots I’m using with the kids, that will be good for a few posts. Overall as busy as it’s been so far it’s been a good year I just need to set aside time to update.