Hi 👋 guys, Lisa here from Happy Explorers and in this post we're going to talk about Kindergarten Robotics.
What I'm hoping you will be able to get from this is an idea that robotic play is accessible to your classroom right now. It's not a complicated idea to implement by a simple educational approach that will help scaffold Technology play into your school.
When you implement these 5 steps into your classroom, your confidence in practising STEM education will rise, and your technology skill will grow. Start talking about what a robot is, how robots move, and how we get to be the ones that tell robots what to do.
As a super cool bonus, you will be able to walk straight into your class and do a robot coding activity with our free printable.
First Things First
Here is a video about how to introduce robotics into Kindergartens.
The 5 Easy Steps
- Introducing a Robot
- Comparing Robots
- Verbal Robot Coding Challange
- Symbol Robot Coding Challange
- Team Work Robot Game
STEP 1 - ROBOT INTRODUCTION.
Now its time to have a discussion, about what your kids know about robots. It's not important to direct their conversations towards the exact answer. It's more important to open up their awareness of their experience with robots. I'm sure most kiddies will have seen some robots on TV or in books but have they seen the little vacuum robots that are now cleaning many homes? Just like this!
You will be able to tell if your kids are interested in talking more about robots and from there you can go on to tell them that a robot is a computer and a machine put together 🤖+ 🖥. Robots can have arms, legs, wheels, eyes and other sensors. But they don't have to have all of these things to be a robot.
STEP 2 - COMPARING ROBOTS.
Robots come in all different sizes and shapes. In my Kinder Coders Classes, I always show the kids two different pictures of robots and ask the kids what they think they are. After that, I get them to circle the part of the robots that are the same. Let's take at two different robots pictures.
The first image is the more traditional image of a bot and one that the kids will instantly recognise. The second image a picture of a robot that is more common in our society and one that the kids will find hard to name. It is a manufacturing robot that helps us make cars.
STEP 3 - VERBAL ROBOT CODING CHALLENGE.
Ok, now we’re onto the Fun Stuff. Time for a gross motor game of robots and actions. Stand in front of the kids and tell them they are now robots and like robots, someone will need to program them. That someone will be you. As the programmer, you will use your words to tell your little robots what to do. You can make a list of cool actions and, I'll list some below, but a pro tip is to include directions like forwards, backwards, left and right. That's because if you plan to use children robotic and coding toys at a later stage, then this knowledge will help your little learners with their directions.
Verbal Coding Actions:
- Go Left
- Go Right
- Step Forward
- Step Backwards
- Spin To The Left
- Spin To The Right
- Balance On One Leg
- Wave With Your Left Hand
- Wave With Your Right Hand
STEP 4 - SYMBOLIC ROBOT CODING CHALLENGE.
Now your kids are used to the fact that a command needs to be told to a robot before it can move. Next, you can step into the process of coding through symbols. You will need to make your own symbol cards for this. They can be based on the above actions and just need to be the picture of that action. Once you have the symbol action cards ready you can flip them in front of your kid robots and watch them read and respond to the commands.
STEP 5 - TEAMWORK CODING GAME.
Step back and watch your hard work turn into a game all by itself. Here you will ask the kids to code each other. They will work in pairs and one will code the other in a little challenge like pick up a cup! Good work Teacher.
That's it. 5 simple steps to start the robotic journey you are going to take in your class. Enjoy and let me know how your kids find the activities and any resources you might want to go with these steps.
If you need a helping hand with bringing tech into your classroom, then take a look at our incursions and coding program for a full immersion experience. After this program, you will feel like a teacher that can easily implement technology into your everyday lesson plan.