Oaklawn Uses Bots to Reinforce Reading Skills

Oaklawn Uses Bots to Reinforce Reading Skills
Posted on 09/26/2018
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Kindergarten students in Mrs. Meghan Mabry’s class at Oaklawn Magnet are developing key skills, while also trying new learning techniques with the help of Bee-Bots. Bee-Bots are small, colorful, bee-shaped robots that can be used by educators in the teaching of counting, sequencing, estimation, problem-solving, and in this case - targeted learning objectives like rhyming that lead to eventual reading skills. (What does a Bee-bot look like? See details, here.)

Rhyming words are difficult for many kindergarteners during the first months of the school year. Instead of a typical matching game, Mrs. Mabry challenges students to manipulate Bee-Bots to move to correct rhyming pictures. This creates focus on both rhyming words and basic coding skills. She also mixes the bots between small group instruction and whole group instruction. Bee-Bots have directional keys with up to 40 commands used to send the bots forward, backward, left, and right. They beep at the conclusion of each command, and confirm completion of correct commands with lights and sound.

“Creative tools like Bee-Bots help to keep the attention and engagement of students, even for complicated learning objectives like rhyming. I enjoy this technique because we are teaching them several skills at once including problem-solving and critical thinking, and they are also having fun,” says Mrs. Mabry. “Anything that helps us peak the curiosity and interest of our students is helpful. As an educator, I enjoy developing ways to make our classrooms exciting by exploring how to use new technology like the bots to develop and reinforce student skills.”

Learning objectives like rhyming are especially important to the Hot Springs School District (HSSD) as all schools are part of the R.I.S.E. (Reading Initiative for Student Excellence) Arkansas Program. R.I.S.E. Arkansas encourages schools and school districts to create an entire culture of reading for students. School commitment with R.I.S.E. leverages community partners, parents, and teachers in establishing the importance of reading in homes, schools, and communities. Teaching tools like Bee-Bots help illustrate for students that reading skills are also heavily tied to technology, teamwork and group exercises, communication, and more.

Learn more about R.I.S.E. Arkansas, here.  See a list of all participating R.I.S.E. Arkansas schools, here. Learn more about our #HSSD Oaklawn Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School, here.
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