Introduction to Coding
The Bee-Bot is a programmable robot-like device that looks like a bee and is designed especially for the preschool age group. Bee-Bot promotes directional language, programming skills, and mapping skills. Use it on the floor to travel through student built courses or on prepared mats to reach specific destinations.
The Bee-Bot has six directional keys. You can enter up to 40 commands at a time, making Bee-Bot able to go from point A to point B based on student commands. The Bee-Bot is constructed of durable material with a built-in rechargeable battery and recharges using a USB port (USB wire included).
Images of a Bee-Bot
Blue-Bot is similar to the Bee-Bot but it has bluetooth technology making it also programmable from an iPad that has the Blue-Bot application.
Bee-Bot and Blue-Bot are sold at educational supply stores.
The Bee-Bot robot promotes cognitive skills like experimentation, observation, manipulation, problem solving, as well as creative and critical thinking, and application of learning.
The Bee-Bot robot is ideal to use with small groups, such as during learning centres, providing opportunities for team work, participation, cooperation, and communication.
The Bee-Bot is also available as a free iTunes application game, but if you are fortunate to have the real Bee-Bot, the hands-on exploration is best.
Find other resources and links related to Bee-Bot and Blue-Bot in French at RÉCIT Presco.
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How Bee-Bot works and how to program it to go through courses.
Using BeeBot for letter recognition and to play Snakes & Ladders.
Tip: Mats can be purchased for the Bee-Bot, but you can save money by making your own. Knowing that the Bee-Bot makes 15 cm moves and 90 degree turns, create your own grid with 15 cm (6") squares on a poster board or plastic tablecloth/shower curtain. Use markers to add the alphabet, numbers, or towns to travel through. Make it a class project and have the children work in small groups to design and draw their own 2D maps.
- Shapes and colours mat: Have matching cards prepared and the children have to pick a card and program the bee to arrive at the matching square.
- Numbers mat: Include numerals and drawings of small objects adding up to those numerals. Have the children select a numbered card or roll dice to discover which square they need to lead the bee to. Increase the difficulty level by adding simple addition and subtraction opportunities.
- Alphabet mat: If the alphabet mat is in lower case, use upper case alphabet cards for children to draw from and have them lead the bee to the matching letter.
- Map of a park, forest, farm, zoo, or town with various roads, paths, and destinations: Let the children decide where the bee should go. Put obstacles like real rocks or twigs on some squares so that those areas must be avoided, adding to the difficulty level of the trajectory. Create a map with lots of groups of animals on it, like a zoo for example, and play the game "Help, I'm Lost". Create matching pictures of the animals on small squares of paper. Have the children select a paper (animal) and affix it to the bee with sticky-tack. The bee has now turned into that animal and the children must help the animal find its way to its family of matching animals.