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E-robots: Robots for the Everyday Elementary Classroom

Change display time — Currently: Central Daylight Time (CDT) (Event time)
Location: In-person TBD
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Watch recording: All-Access Package Year-Round PD Package

Explore and create : Creation lab

Aimee Bloom  
Dan Thomas  

Will robots take over the world? Not if our elementary students can help it! Learn how to implement computational thinking skills, creativity and collaboration in the everyday elementary classroom while enhancing problem-solving skills with the use of robotics.

Audience: Coaches, Library media specialists, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Topic: Computer science & computational thinking
Grade level: PK-5
Subject area: Computer science, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
For Students:
Computational Thinker
  • Students formulate problem definitions suited for technology-assisted methods such as data analysis, abstract models and algorithmic thinking in exploring and finding solutions.
Related exhibitors:
, Exploring Robotics
, KinderLab Robotics, Inc.
, Robo Wunderkind
, Sphero
, VEX Robotics, Inc.
, Bluum

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

19 States have adopted a policy for computer science courses that allow high school students access (Source: https://code.org/promote). Of the 19, only 8 States provide all students k-12 access. With the slow adoption of computer science standards throughout the United States, there is a growing need to teach elementary students computational thinking skills to be better prepared for high school and beyond. This begins by educating classroom teachers by providing the opportunity to learn how to implement the skills specific to computer science in cross-curricular disciplines. Through the use of robotics, teachers can better develop an understanding of the concepts and their applications in the elementary level classroom. Teachers will have a hands-on playshop opportunity to learn about the robots introduced throughout the session. Through the use of a personalized learning playlist that entails a “must do” and “may do” station rotation, teachers will be better prepared to bring robotics to their elementary classrooms. In closing of the session, teachers will share their takeaways via a Padlet that can be continuously accessed and added to in an effort to share our experiences and ideas on how to implement the robot in the everyday elementary classroom.

Robots making their debut in the eRobots for the elementary session:
Ozobots- Grades K-12
Dash and Dot- Grades K-5
Bee-Bots- Grades K-3
LEGO WeDo 2.0- Grades 2-4
Sphero Bolt- Grades 2-5
Lego Spike- Grades 4-5
Solar Robotic Recycle Kit- Grades 2-5
Cubelets- Grades 3-5


:00 Welcome and introductions
:02 Overview as to the Why and What of teaching robotics in the elementary classroom:
Defining the term Robot: turn and talk protocol
Why robotics- think: what robots do we use in everyday life using Pear Deck poll to ask participants
Explanation of why teaching robotics in the elementary classroom
:15 We explore computational thinking through an “unplugged activity” provided by Code.org, My Robotics Friend, that they can use in the elementary classroom.
Attendees will form groups of 2-4 participants and discuss the terms computational thinking and algorithms.
Attendees will participate in the unplugged activity where they program one another silently using a set of directions to stack cups in a particular way.
Attendees will share out and reflect on their experience.
:30 Attendees will learn breadth of the following robots that will be available to have a hands-on exploration with at ISTE 20
Ozobots- Grades K-12
Dash and Dot- Grades K-5
Bee-Bots- Grades K-3
LEGO WeDo 2.0- Grades 2-4
Sphero Bolt- Grades 2-5
LEGOSpike- Grades 4-5
Solar Robotic Recycle Kit
Cubelets- Grades 3-5
:40 Attendees will be given an explanation of Personalized Robotic Activity found at bit.ly/erobotpl. The eRobots Playlist will also allow attendees to learn about an instructional personalized learning practice from EdElements (https://www.edelements.com/). Safety precautions will also be discussed.
:45 Teachers will partake in the eRobots Playlist by experiencing minimally two robots of his or her choice through the exploration of “Playshop” activities in the Playlist’s “must do” and “may do” (optional) activities. Additional directives will be provided at each station as well as the presenters personal assistance will be available. Participants will be asked to reflect on their experiences on a shared Padlet throughout the station rotation.
:75 Cross-Curricular Connections- The presenter will give a brief overview Decomposition, Pattern Recognition, Pattern Abstraction, and Algorithmic Design and how the processes apply to all academic subject matters. Presenters will ask the participants to make the connections by polling the crowd using PearDeck or PollEverywhere.
:85 Because reflection is an essential component, the participants will ask to reflect both vocally and through the use of a shared Padlet. Time is allotted for survey as well.
:90- Thank you and goodbye

*Detailed information and resources can be found on the agenda at bit.ly/ISTE20erobotagenda

Supporting research

Developing Third-Grade Students’ Computational Thinking Skills with Educational Robotics: https://www.learntechlib.org/p/182493/

Introduction to computational thinking: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zp92mp3/revision/1

How one school district works computational thinking into every grade and class: https://hechingerreport.org/how-one-school-district-works-computational-thinking-into-every-grade-and-class/

What it Takes to Integrate Robotics and Coding into the Classroom: https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/04/what-it-takes-integrate-robotics-and-coding-classroom

Five Reasons To Teach Robotics In Schools: https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.theedadvocate.org/five-reasons-to-teach-robotics-in-schools/&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1632693696108000&usg=AOvVaw3T2AjAJnpswTh07WT7Wkl3

Designing a Robotics Class for Elementary Students!: https://www.robotlab.com/blog/designing-a-robotics-class-for-elementary-students

How to get your youngest learners engaged in computer science.:https://www.commonsense.org/education/articles/using-robots-to-teach-young-elementary-students-to-code

Teaching Computer Science Concepts through Robotics to Elementary School Children: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1207432

Computational Thinking CSK-12: https://k12cs.org/computational-thinking/

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Aimee Bloom, Erie 1 BOCES
ISTE Certified Educator

Aimee Bloom is the Coordinator of Instructional Technology for exceptional education, career and technical schools, and workforce development for Erie 1 Board of Cooperative Services in Western New York. Understanding the need for digital equity, Aimee has co-written the computer science and digital literacy curriculum for the Diocese of Buffalo and was on the authoring panel for the New York State Computer Science Standards. She previously taught computer technology to prek-8th grade students for over 10 years in the Diocese of Buffalo as well as worked as an integration specialist and technology coordinator.

Dan Thomas, Southwestern Central School District

6-12 Technology Education Teacher at Southwestern Middle School in Jamestown NY ISTE Certified Educator, Code.org CS Discoveries Facilitator, LEGO Education Certified Teacher Trainer, MakeyMakey Certified Trainer, Wakelet AmbassadorI have been a Technology Education Teacher for 30 years at Southwestern Central Schools in Jamestown NY. It is here that I have been able to explore the roles of computers, educational technology, STEM and robotics in the classroom. In addition to this, I am ISTE Certified, Code.org CSD Facilitator, and a LEGO Certified Teacher Trainer. I also played a role in the creation of the NYS Computer Science Standards.

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