Bloomfield Hills was the first district to acquire the Dash and Dot robots in Michigan. I beta tested these robots in my 4th grade classroom the first year they were available.
I wanted to introduce the robots to my students in a special way, so I told them we were going to have special guests in the afternoon. Central office staff came in to watch the launch of the robots and when they arrived, my students were disappointed as they thought these people were the special guests. I had a couple of the robots hiding under my desk, programmed and ready to go. I asked the students to come up to the front of the room and sit in a circle on the rug to meet the guests. As they waited to meet the special guest, I launched the app and had the robots (DASH) come out from under my desk. The robots traveled to the center of the rug, turned 360 degrees and said, “Hello.” The students were so excited and couldn’t wait to get started.
During our semester with the robots, my students were so excited about having them in the classroom and looked forward to “playing” with them. We integrated the robots in our measurement unit where students had to estimate and measure the distance Dash would travel after programming it. In addition, using base ten blocks, students created paths for Dash to travel on. These paths included angles of different measures that students had to construct using angle rulers and then code the robot to follow the path and make the turns. Students used their critical thinking skills to create algorithms for their codes as they collaborated, problem solved, and had fun all while learning. In addition, they learned how to code using the blockly language.
Dash and Dot are available to borrow from your local REMC. Contact them to borrow a set for your classroom!
Vinos Kassab, Digital Learning Consultant