Robots Help K-5 Students Learn About Coding Through Core Subjects

Robot creator Wonder Workshop has made Dash, Dot and Blocky, three robots that can be programmed with four different apps to respond to motion, sound and expressions. Accompanying the robots is a standards-aligned curriculum supplement intended to make coding instruction more approachable for teachers of students in grades K-5.

The 21 classroom-tested lesson plans Wonder Workshop has just released are meant to be a supplement to instruction in core subject areas like math, science and English language arts (ELA). They are available through a teachers' portal that Wonder World hopes teachers will use to collaborate with one another as well.

"Teachers often find it hard to take class time to teach coding unless the lesson plans align directly to the required standards," said Michelle Eckstein, a technology teacher at Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette, CO. "Using Blocky and Dash and Dot, teachers are empowered to bring coding skills into their classroom while addressing Common Core math or ELA standards."

With the portal, educators can test out, rate and provide feedback on existing lessons, as well as create new ones. The portal features an interactive school map that will help educators learn about colleagues at nearby schools who are also using Dash and Dot to teach their students about coding.

Wonder Workshop launched Dash and Dot in December and 300 schools are already using the robots in their classrooms.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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