Mouse Bots are a great way to introduce coding in a hands-on approach to primary students. Primary students may benefit from having online coding experiences, but in order to make a cognitive connections, they also need hands-on activities!
Coding helps bring in sequencing, which helps students make connections with all writing genres, number sense, and directionality concepts. Although the Mouse Bots come with pre-designed boards, I have tied them into our Benchmark Advance curriculum by creating my own letters, high frequency words, and life cycle boards. Here is a link to make your own boards to supplement Benchmark Advance or GoMath (life cycle, addition problems, program to numbers, retell stories etc.): BeeBot mat directions. There are also a few ELA and Math created boards you can purchase, print, and put together from Teachers Pay Teachers.
My students also practice collaboration, critical thinking, speaking, and listening skills when completing the included task cards in groups. Once I model how to use the Mouse Bots, I place them into learning group stations. Students are placed in a heterogeneous learning group while I am at the back table with a homogeneous group for guided reading small groups. Not only do they have to work together to connect the foundational board piece, but they also have to collaborate to sequence the directional cards and program the Mouse Bot to find the cheese! It's fun and it's teaching kids how to CODE!
I was able to obtain these coding tools by writing a grant using the Donors Choose website. I wrote a grant for a few coding tools and received four Mouse Bots within my grant request. The Learning Resource Company is also great at replacing any mouse bots that stop working for FREE! An entire kit on Amazon is around $45. There are many grants available to teachers that can be written to obtain great tools like these for our kiddos!
First Grade Teacher, Adkison Elementary