Full disclosure – our class received a Dash and Dot package from Wonder Workshop for review.
Last month I posted an article about the new additions to our classroom, Dash and Dot (and Fitzgerald). Since then, the school Maker Club, our Robotics team, and my 1st graders have been learning more about the features of these robots.
My 1st grade GT students are learning about different countries around the world. Before digging into that research, I wanted to make sure they understood the difference between countries and continents, and had a general understanding of their locations. We have a giant map of the world on our wall, but I thought Dash and Dot might be able to help us by taking their own virtual trip around the globe. I ordered this vinyl map for the floor from Amazon.
My daughter helped me to write an adventure for Dash that took him to every continent. (Yes, she came up with the idea for the Shoe of Honesty in the story – which the students found quite hilarious!) As I read the story out loud, the students took turns programming Dash at each juncture using the Blockly app.
The synergizing and problem-solving were phenomenal. They took their task of guiding Dash very seriously. They learned about angles and programming logic. And, in the meantime, they learned their continents and compass directions.
My daughter and I deliberately stopped the story before the end. When we got to Dash’s “uh-oh” the students were in complete suspense. It took practically no prompting from me to get them to write their own endings and to illustrate them.
You can see the endings the students wrote below. (Click on the image to see a larger version.) Don’t be confused if you see “Fitzgerald” in some of their stories. We have 2 Dashes, so one is named Fitzgerald. The students are very attached to both, and get upset if all of the robots are not included!
If you are interested in downloading a copy of the slide show with the story and programming prompts, click here. Here is the PDF of the writing page the students used. Thank you to Susan Prabulos (@fabprab) for the awesome graphics!