My students love to work collaboratively and they are not afraid to tackle big ideas or problems. While they come from diverse backgrounds and have varied levels of language acquisition, mathematics ability, and reading comprehension, what is common among all of my students is a thirst for new ideas and information. They are innovative thinkers, filled with creativity.
What my students are lacking however is a platform which builds upon these strengths and allows them to explore their way through our curriculum.
They need to apply the information from our lessons in a hands-on format that utilizes their creativity. We have found a vehicle for this endeavor in the Dash Robot by Wonder Workshop.
As a true cross-curricular tool, the Dash Robot has unlimited potential in the classroom. We will be able to introduce the design process and coding to our students while reinforcing skills in all the core content areas. Students will have the added benefit of developing spatial and sequential thinking processes, skills that are often unaddressed or underdeveloped in the traditional classroom setting. The robots will be integrated into various activities for the content areas of math, science, social studies and Language Arts.
My goal is to enhance our instruction, in a purposeful, student driven way, building upon the natural curiosities and strengths of our learners.
Upon receipt of our Dash, students will explore the features of the robots by moving them along simple student created routes. While basic in application, this time will allow them to become comfortable with the operation of the robots and develop processes for working as a team to complete simple nonacademic tasks. As students become more comfortable with basic operation, programming concepts will be introduced through the Wonder app. Students will create traceable paths of code as they direct the robots through simple challenges and tasks via pre-written code that they have assembled. This step in the process will allow the students to become proficient at creating simple codes. By week three, students will be proficient in basic drag and drop coding and the features of the Dash robots. They will have established procedures for collaborative work and have learned processes to solve disagreements within a group. Students will have had the opportunity to fail at a task and will have strategies in place for revising and adapting their approach for a more successful end.
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