Using Bee-Bots to Develop Visual Programming Skills


Option 2: Describe a classroom activity that incorporates a visual programming environment 

Bee-Bots are an engaging and hands-on digital technology manipulative and are often used for introducing young students to programming. Bee-Bots can follow a sequence of up to 40 commands. Students are able to direct the small robotic character to move forward, backward, left and right. Below is an engaging activity to teach simple programming, and the mathematical and decomposition skills relating to mapping.

In small groups, provide students with a simple and colourful grid map that has obvious features, such as tree, pond, cave etc (see example via the link below). Provide a list of instructions they need to follow to get to the ‘treasure’ at the end, for example ‘start at the tree, travel around the cave, do not go through the water etc’. Unnecessary information could also be added to these instructions to provide the opportunity for students to learn abstraction methods. Have the students write down their instructions for the Bee-Bot and program the Bee-Bot accordingly.

This activity was adapted from the mapping section in the following link –  http://www.blog.teaching.com.au/5-mathematics-bee-bot-lesson-ideas-for-the-classroom

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