Need an engaging library center with robots and coding for K-4? This center resource (which is one of my best sellers!) utilizes some fun, free downloads from the Ozobot website. I've included the links that you'll need because sometimes they're tricky to find. Just as an aside, I've heard them called Oh-zo-bots and Oz-o-bots, so please feel free to go with the one YOU like best! :)
The Ozobot Bit Booklet
Because I prefer that my library centers have a little structure, I created a nonfiction booklet that describes the Ozobot Bit's hardware and also explains how its parts work to read the codes that make it move.
In the little booklet, I also explain (with photographs) how students must draw very particular lines, using only four colors, to code the robot's actions.
With the Littles
When I'm ready to use this center with my K-1 kids, I project the booklet and we talk it through together -- before they ever touch the robots. I also utilize a little practice sheet and a modified code card with them first. This helps them understand exactly how to draw out the coded lines, and it increases the chances that they'll be successful. Seriously, adding this step before you "let them loose" with your robots will save you a lot of frustration -- on both sides! I sometimes use this sheet with my second graders as well... it just depends on the group!
For the 2nd Grade and Up Crew
Most often, with my older students, I print and laminate the file, and then make it into a booklet. Part of the center task for my older kids is to completely read the booklet -- independently... FIRST... before handling the robots. (Usually I put three kids in a center together, and they take turns reading it aloud to each other.) It's very brief. I ask them a few quick, obvious questions before I let them open the robot bin -- just to make sure they really read it! HA! Also, one of my exit tickets assesses their understanding.
Moving along, because I really want my classes to stay engaged during center time, I also created a set of ten task cards that establish a sequence of exploration.
My rule is that the first five cards have to be done in order, but then the students can choose the order for 6-10. This has worked really well for us.
My resource also has a little built-in tracking sheet. Have the kids use it to indicate which task cards they were able to complete. This tracking sheet serves as my other exit ticket. I always use it with the younger students and most of the time with the older kids, too.
1) The nonfiction text booklet in PDF format that describes the Ozobot's hardware and explains how to program the robot using markers to draw color codes and lines.
- You can project the file and scroll it to introduce the center to your classes.
- Or... print the PDF as a center booklet for older students to read independently. (Again, one of the exit tickets can be used to assess understanding.)
2) Ten task cards that organize a variety of free downloads and give the center some structure while allowing fun exploration.
- Some of the task card items come with the Ozobot (which can be purchased from their website, from Amazon, or from DEMCO.)
- Other task card materials are free downloads (and the links are included).
- The maze-building items can be gathered from things you may already own, such as small plastic cups, fast-food toys, blocks, small balls, and building bricks.
3) Two exit tickets
- One simply helps the students track "YES/NO" progress through the task cards.
- The other checks for understanding of the nonfiction text.
4) ONE beginner’s template (for K-1) It includes a simplified color code card to get them started successfully.
5) Instructions to set-up the center and a supply list.
Ozobots are so much fun for students in kindergarten through fourth grade! I love to see the ideas that they come up with each library center day!
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