Guest Post - Using Dash, Dot and Cue Across All Curricular Areas
Written by Jasmine Saab
Hey Awesome Educator!
I heard you just got your lucky hands on the coolest ed tech around! You now have Dash, Dot, and/or Cue in your classroom. Your students have already begun discovering all of the cool things that these robots can do, and now you are so excited and ready to start integrating computer programming with what you are teaching in the classroom, that’s why you are reading this blog post, right?
I know you are probably thinking some of the same thoughts that I first had when I first got my robots in my classroom.
- How can I make sure that I am integrating this technology in a meaningful way?
- How can I use technology, and teach computer programming, while also covering the standards?
Well, there are so many things that I can tell you to help you out right now. But the first one I will start with, is that no matter what subject you teach, it is possible to utilize these robots, in EVERY SUBJECT AREA! No matter who you are, or what you teach, I am sure that there is a way you can apply computer programming with your students.
I have created some lessons for you to get started! Feel free to check them out below, as well as, many other inspiring lessons located in the Wonder Workshop Cross Curriculum Lesson Library.
I am a 4th grade teacher, who is very fortunate to be self-contained, therefore I try and combine as many subjects as possible when creating projects that will be utilizing robotics. However, I know that some teachers are departmentalized, so I have created these for lessons, for specific subject areas. Check them out below!
*These were created with 4th graders in mind, but you can obviously make adjustments to accommodate for different grade levels!*
- 2 Digit by 2 Digit Multiplication:
- Students will program their robots to go through the steps in order to properly multiply 2 digit by 2 digit numbers.
- Evaluating how Point of View and Perspectives can change the meaning of the story using the popular book: The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka:
- Students will recreate the neighborhood that the Three Little Pigs built their houses in, then program Dash, or Cue as the wolf, or a different character in the story, and observe that character’s perspective, through dialogue, and voice recordings.
- DASH-tronaut traveling through the Solar System:
- Students will create their own map of the Solar System, and program their DASH-tronaut to travel through the Solar System putting the planets in order, and describing each planets composition, and maybe a cool fact or two along the way.
- Battle of Bunker Hill the Recreation:
- Students will be recreating and sequencing the events that occurred during the American Revolution. Starting with the colonists taking over Fort Ticonderoga, and stealing 59 cannons, then transporting the cannons (which weighed approximately 120,000lbs) over 300 miles from Vermont to Boston. (If you have the launcher attachment, this would be a great time to use it!) Then the colonists set up the cannons in the middle of the night to surprise the British in the following morning. The plan worked and the British Soldiers fled Boston and went to New York City.
The main thing that I focus on when creating these lessons are:
- What are the learning objectives?
- What are the more important concepts students need to understand within a unit?
- How much class time can I devote, so that students can complete what is required?
- Is it possible to integrate multiple subjects into one lesson?
- What are things that you would like your students to repeat MANY TIMES!?
For myself, I really wanted my students to repeat the steps on 2 digit by 2 digit multiplication, because I often see students skipping steps, or doing them out of order. Applying robotics makes this lesson so great, because there is so much repetition!
Here are also some tips and tricks that I have learned along the way when integrating coding in my classroom.
- Try and integrate as many subject areas *if possible*, to allow for more time to work on projects. It’s also a good idea to talk to related art teachers as well!
- Go over the standards with the students before hand, so that they also know their learning objectives.
- Create a rubric to grade the projects, and go over the rubric with the students BEFORE getting started.
- If possible, come up with a small demonstration, so that students can get an idea of what is required of them
- Be inspired by other teachers on Twitter, as well as, the Wonder Workshop Global Educator Community on Facebook! There are educators all over the world, who are more than happy to give you ideas, and answer questions, should you need any help getting started!
- Have students come up with an exact spot that they can place their robot in the same place every time.
- Have everything completed before you begin programing your robot. (i.e. maps, scripts, decorations, sequence of events) because once you start programming, you will not want to make too many changes!
- Keep group sizes as small as possible *3-5 students per group is ideal*
- Assign roles to students in each group! Here are some crows that I made for students to wear, download them for FREE from Teachers Pay Teachers
- Make sure to share and present the projects that the students have created! A lot of time and effort goes into these types of things. Allow students the opportunity to share their work!
I am a 4th grade teacher at a public school on a Naval Weapons Station near Charleston, SC. This is my third year teaching, and I have been using Dash, Dot, and Cue for over 2 years now. I also created my own halloween costume by paper macheing yoga balls, to recreate Dash’s iconic look!