Ozobot FunOne of the most amazing things is watching my kindergarteners learn and become experts in coding! Last year, our librarian/tech facilitator purchased a few Ozobots for the school and my kids loved being able to code the little robots! We talked about how to code, and they mastered it so quickly! We read There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow and sequenced the event cards on our Ozobot coding mat. The kids took turns in small groups coding each section of the board. They loved being able to calibrate the Ozobot and watch it go!
Intro to OzobotsOne of the first things I do to get my little ones ready to learn how to code is to show them this little powerpoint on Coding 101. I discuss the basics of the ozobot, and show them the sensors on the bottom. I try to help the kids understand what exactly their little ozobot is before they get started with using it! We talk about things in life that have sensors and make a list on the board (faucets, paper towel holders, garage doors, fire alarms, etc.). Then we look at how the ozobots work and how we can calibrate and code them. I break the kids into groups of three or four and have them practice calibrating the ozobot one at a time, while the others practice drawing “just right” lines for the ozobot. They haven’t done any coding at this point, just practice. Finally, once every child gets a turn to calibrate the ozobot, I have them sit back down on the carpet and we talk about coding. I find it best to start with codes for speed instead of direction for kindergarten. I keep the codes page on the board for all the kids to see, and put them back into small groups. Each group has one mat. They take turns trying to color a code onto each spot for the robot to make it to his robo pup! They have so much fun watching and problem solving together.
Holiday Ozobot MazesSince then, I made my own Christmas-themed and Gingerbread Ozobot mazes. The kids are going to have so much fun sounding out the CVC words, and learning to code their maze! I plan to have them work in groups of 4 or 5 and practice coloring the codes. Then, we’ll take turns sounding out each CVC word, and if it is part of the word family, they will choose a code to color, if it is not in the word family, then they will color it black.
Holidays Around the World CodingDuring December, I also do a Holidays Around the World Unit for my littles and we travel (using Google Earth) all over the world! As we visit each different country, we learn about their culture and traditions. So to coordinate with our learning, I also made some Ozobot mazes for the countries we visit.
Dr. Seuss CodingDuring Read Across America Week, we read all things Dr. Seuss! During the week, we talked about all kinds of rhyming words, nonsense words, and reviewed our CVC short vowel families. We had a blast reading Hop on Pop, Cat in the Hat, Fox in Socks, etc. After reading, we made a list of words, and then started coding! I printed a few of the Ozobot Rhyming Mazes, and laminated them for durability. The kids kept their coding page on the desk and could pick and choose their codes for each rhyming word. For each different book, I made a corresponding Ozobot maze with matching word families and CVC rhyming words. There are several mazes included in this pack!
Teacher Tip: Although the Ozobot markers are recommended for coding, I have found that regular Crayola red, green, blue, and black markers work well for the coding mazes – and save money, too!.