Using Bee bots to amplify and transform learning. This is what I aimed to do in my mini unit with my grade 2 class during prac. I used backward mapping to design the unit and found out what the teacher wanted the students to be able to do by the end of the unit. The goal was for students to develop directional language, for students to be able to identify key features on a map (Title, key, symbols, compass rose etc.) and lastly for student to be able to give directions from one place to the other using directional language.
The concept was introduce with a story “Me on the map”, followed by an engaging class discussion about maps, we created a mind map with our findings during the discussions. Students were able to express prior knowledge and make connections to life experiences about maps and directions. We started a word wall and any time a new relating word came up ,students were invited to add them to the word wall. We used an interactive map activity to introduce keys and symbols and the students were particularly engaged in this activity.
I then introduced the students to the Bee bots and this is when the students learning was transformed. The students created their own maps on gridded paper and then created their maps using laminated pictures under a gridded plastic sheet. For assessment they gave directions that they created to get the Bee bot home to their partner and their partner had to follow the directions to programme the Bee bot to get to home. The students were so engaged and interested that for two days in a row we had to convince them to go to lunch.
What a fantastic resource for lower primary students and so versatile too. I would love to use the Bee bot for number line and literacy too.