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3D beebot mat June 2, 2011

Posted by alinnert in C.
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Our school was involved in the beebot project last year. I tried a new idea today with  my kindergarten class that I thought I would share. We have been exploring full and empty etc. I set up various containers on the mat…full, empty, half full, almost full and almost empty. The students enjoyed using the language of measurement to direct each other where to take their beebot. They had to make their beebot “look at” the appropriate container ie. move to a square adjacent to the container.


Beebot Investigations September 17, 2010

Posted by alinnert in C.

The students carried out some interesting investigations during our “Top Steps” day. Thanks to R for your great ideas and sharing of resources.

1.Students had to program their beebot to follow a set path. Then they made up their own path for the beebot to follow.

2.How long is a beebot step? This activity was done without the grid squares and proved challenging for many students. The concept of measuring “distance travelled” was difficult for these younger students.

3. I introduced “rulers” (printed, cut and laminated myself) which are one “beebot step” long. The students had to first predict and then measure the perimetre of a desk and a tote tray. They were much more at ease with using the ruler than they were with measuring a step.

4. Inclines: Students experimented to find the steepest incline up which the beebot could move.

Narrative activity- “Top Steps” September 8, 2010

Posted by alinnert in C.
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I read the story “Handa’s Surprise” to the children during the morning session of our “Top Steps” day. After reading, we discussed the main ideas in the story. The students then sequenced different parts of the story in an IWB activity.

The next challenge was to create a story map  for “Handa’s Surprise” on a grid template. The students (in pairs) were to make their very own beebot mat which represented the story. Once the plan was made, the students wrote programming instructions for the beebot to follow.

They then transferred the pictures from their plan onto 10 x 10cm white paper squares. Together they arranged their squares under the plastic mat. Finally they retold the story by taking their beebot through the story map.

The beebots even  wore costumes!

(downloaded from Kent ed website)

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PhotoStory_Beebots_Year1 September 6, 2010

Posted by mleone in C.

Students are nearing the completion of their PhotoStory projects. This activity began four weeks ago and supports the Beebot activities being taught in regular classes.

This project was conducted during technology time (1 hour per week).

Week 1 – The first week students used cameras to take photos of beebots around the school. Students were assigned numbers 1 to 4 (depending on the class size). Student 1 was in charge of the camera for the first scene. Students 2, 3 and 4 had a beebot each to set up for the photo shoot. After a series of photos were taken, student number 2 became the photographer etc, untill all students had a chance to take photos. There was a lot of discussion as to where photos would be taken and how the beebot would be posed.
After the photo session students returned to the technology room to download and view photos. We all had a good time viewing our photos, discussing which ones we would use in our stories and laughing at the photos of the ground and fingers in front of lenses.

Week 2 – In this lesson we were introduced to PhotoStory for the first time. Students had to locate (with help) where their photos were located on the school’s network. Working with a partner they had to decide which photos to include in their photostory. After selecting the photos they then had to discuss their story and sequence photos accordingly.

Week 3 – Students added text to some of their slides. (Some students added text to all slides, while others only added text to some slides.) They experimented with different fonts, sizes and colour. We then looked at adding transitions and effects to a number of slides.

Week 4 – The concluding activity involved students creating and adding music and voice over to their stories and converting files to movies.

The following video is from two year 1 students.

Beebots2 from mleone on Vimeo.

The classes that completed the above lessons were totally engaged in all aspects of designing, organising, creating and publishing their Beebot stories. They thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.

Photos taken in the technology room.

Parent interest in beebots September 2, 2010

Posted by alinnert in C.
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It is great to see our parents so enthusiastic about having beebots in our classrooms.

Beebots were briefly introduced at our school open day and some parents were able to watch an activity during open classroom time.

Parent helpers in my year one class and a kindergarten class have been interacting with the students as they engage with the beebots. It was lovely to see an enthusiastic father and four boys from my class working together to program the beebots. (during reading groups)

A parent came to me after school today and told me that she was looking forward to seeing our beebots. She had read about them in our class “bulletin”.

“The children have embraced the use of beebots as a part of their learning. These programmable floor robots have been a valuable addition to our Maths, English and Integrated Studies program. We have used the beebots to explore the properties of 2D and 3D shapes and as part of our number investigations. After reading the story of the Three Little Pigs, the students reconstructed the story on a map and then transferred their ideas onto inserts for the beebot mat. They were then able to take their beebot through the sequence of the story of the Three Little Pigs. The beebots help to further develop concentration, memory, spacial awareness, positional language and much more.
We are planning to make shelters for the beebots. Please help us by sending in a cardboard box for your child to use. A beebot is 15cm long, 10cm wide and about 10cm high. The box should be at least this size. Your child will be able to help you choose a box which is about the right size.”

More “Top Steps” September 1, 2010

Posted by alinnert in C.
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I’d like to share some of the activities which I offered at our recent whole day Beebot workshop for students K-2.
The morning began with an introduction to Beebots (and robots in general) through the smartboard presentation provided through this site. This really generated interest in robots. Many students seemed surprised that a robot could look like a bee. We went through the characteristics of robots and decided that beebots met all of the criteria.

The students were then given the opportunity to explore their beebot and try to make it move. It took a little while for someone (other than students from our school who had already played with beebots) to work out that you need to press the clear button before entering a new sequence of instructions.

Next I introduced our “beebot village” houses. (made by covering the beebot packaging boxes) The students tried to program their beebot to move around the house. This came quite easily for some, while others used trial and error many times in their attempts to negotiate the box.

I’ll add more posts later….there is lots more to share.

“A bots and B bots” September 1, 2010

Posted by alinnert in C.
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Back to our “Top Steps” day……

I decorated the outside of the classroom with bee bot cut outs in order to add excitement to the student’s arrival at our school. After recess as we were walking back to the classroom (we had already spent the morning session investigating beebots) one child looked at the bee bot cut outs and said that he had been wondering about something. “Where are the A-bots”?  He then smiled and had a little giggle. A great sense of humour!

An Introduction to Beebots in Literacy Groups. August 26, 2010

Posted by egollan in C.

Kindergarten were very excited to welcome the Beebots into the classroom. For the initial session all students worked in small groups using the Beebots for different activities. All students were able to experience each activity. In the first group students had to program the Beebot to find a sight word that they had drawn from a pile. The second activity had students listening for the beginning sound in a word and programming the Beebot to find that ‘sound’ from letters of the alphabet. The third activity was the reverse of the second, students were given a ‘beginning sound’/letter name and they had to program the Beebot to find a picture that began with that letter. Students were busy negotiating the mats to guide their Beebot to the correct answer. The fourth activity was a challenge!  Students raced the Beebots to the finish line. Two Beebots were lined up and given a grid they must stay on, each Beebot had one obstacle to go around and had to reach the piece of fruit at the end of the track. It was interesting watching this activity as the students decided if it was easier to do one step instructions or multi-step. Many students made mistakes trying to program too many steps at once and then realised their mistakes and went back to one at a time. A great problem solving experience.  The class is looking forward to this being an integral part of our group work sessions.

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An introduction to Scratch. August 25, 2010

Posted by mleone in C.

At our TOPSTEPS (Gifted and Talented) day, Stage 2 students undertook a Scratch workshop. These students had no previous experience with the program. At the start of the day I used a beebot to introduce students to various concepts used in scratch. Students looked at how the beebot moved forward and backward, and the right and left turns made. We discussed angles and directions travelled. Students were using terms such as ninety degrees, quarter turns, half turns, revolutions etc. Using the beebot on the plastic grid we discussed directions using left, right, up and down. When we moved to the computer and the Scratch program students related the beebots movements to that of the scratch cat. The beebot was a great introduction to the workshop and set the scene for a very successful day.

TOPSTEPS Bee-bots August 25, 2010

Posted by mleone in C.

Our school hosted a Gifted and Talented day for Stage One students from five local schools. We spent a whole day investigating beebots and how they work.

The morning session started out with an introduction to robotics. The students were then free to explore how the beebots worked. First they explored the programming buttons, then they took turns to move the beebot around a beebot town house.

It was interesting to note that many students found it challenging to guide the beebot around the house which was sitting on the floor. Later on when they were introduced to the grid mat, they seemed to have a much better understanding of where to move the beebot. I wonder whether having the structure of the grid was equivalent to having “concrete materials” for young learners.
More to come….. A. Linnert