Coding and Robots and Play! Oh My!

It is coding time in the library. Don’t get me wrong, coding sites, activities, and robots are available all year long. The Learning Resources mice and Botley are great to teach beginning coding. The simple commands and grid like movements mean all students are successful. 

Last year I found the Qubo robot. The puzzle cards make it possible for all students to code. i have classes for three day s in a row; I teach the students to use the free play mode after they have used the puzzle pieces.

It is just that in the spring I bring out the big guy, DASH. The variety of apps provide students with different learning experiences. I focus on using the Wonder app. However, the students have to use the Free Play or the ??? option. I tell them we have other options for simple coding and DASH is not a remote control. You must code! 

The free play is perfect for all my learners. The image icons and simple arrow for connecting the code mean that no reading skills are required. Once again, creating an activity in which ALL students regardless of reading ability. I had an student who is an English Language Learner who had DASH moving all over the library with lights and actions. The student was so proud. 

The experimenting I see students using each day is wonderful. Those are my directions- Move up a code and see what happens. Very few students put DASH away without writing a few codes. Others create some pretty complex codes and I love listening to the conversations between the students. 

Play is so important for children. Free play, without outcomes, just fun and imagination. All these robots are perfect examples of why and how play is really deep learning and understanding. 

No comments