BeeBots

BeeBots are a great way to incorporate coding and technology into your MakerSpace without the need for an iPad or some form of tablet!  These little bee-like robots have direction buttons located at the top of the bot which allows students to program it to go where they want it to go.  Various mats are sold by the company which can be used with the BeeBots or you can make your own or find many resources online.  Note: There is a BlueBot which works just like the yellow BeeBot, but it does have bluetooth which allows it to work with apps that are created for the bot.  I, however, have stuck with only using the BeeBots without the use of an app as I have other robots (Dash, Sphero) that fit that need and I would rather not have to find the funds to purchase more iPads for the Beebots.

 

Helpful Hints:

  1. Even though the BeeBots might be a little easier to program than Sphero and Dash,  I take the time to show my students how to use the bots, especially how the turn buttons only turn the bot, not turn and move forward.
  2. Keep in mind charging times. It may take up to 12 hours to fully charge the Bee-Bot if the battery has been fully discharged. Once fully charged your Bee-Bot will have approx. 8 hours of normal usage, approx. 2 hours when in continuous use.
  3. The Bee-Bot website has resources that might be helpful to look at when you are getting started.  Visit them at https://www.bee-bot.us/.

Activities:

  1. Make a Maze: You can create (or have students create) mazes using big blocks or painter’s tape that BeeBot has to move through.  Very easy and so much fun!  you can use these direction cards to help students plan out their code.
  2. Create a paper grid (or if you’re lucky purchase the BeeBot clear block grid):  Place various pictures or cards on the grid depending on what students are studying.  For example, when first grade studies space, I place out cards with pictures of various space objects on the grid. Students pick or I tell them a vocabulary or hint card and then have to code BeeBot to go from the start square to the picture card that matches their vocabulary card.
  3. You can also purchase BeeBot mats to use with your students.  There are: Letters, Numbers, Short vowel CVC word pictures and Shapes.  These mats come ready to go so you only need to give students challenge cards or guidance in what you want them to do.  Here are some cards to get you started.
  4.  There are many other activities you can have your students do with BeeBots.  Here are some more resources I have found on the web that might work for you or spark a new idea of your own!
    • TTS Activity Cards: Various activity cards that have students programming the BeeBot to complete different tasks.
    • Have students choreograph a dance for the BeeBots or build a maze out of Unifix Cubes that the bots must navigate through.
    • Della Larson has quite a few “mats” she’s created on Teachers Pay Teachers.  They include initial sounds, pumpkin and frog life cycle, CVC words and more.
    • Practice measurement with these free BeeBot rulers from Educents.com.  The rulers show how BeeBots move 15 cm at a time so kids so you can have the students map out various routes for the bots based by measuring and then coding as needed.
    • JDaniel4’s Mom has a fun coding activity that corresponds with the book The Gruffalo which has students code the bots to retell the story.  This idea can be used with any story!  Simply create picture cards for various events from the book you’ve read and have students code to get to the events in the correct order.
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