How are Kindergarten Students Learning about Robotics and How to Code at RMS?
At Rowntree Montessori Schools, our students start learning about Coding and Robotics as early as the age of three and a half years old in our Pre-Kindergarten Montessori classes. Students can begin to understand the basics of Coding and Robotics using unplugged coding materials, such as figurines (that represent robots), cards and grids (on which they will execute the various coding instructions). In the example pictured below, our students face the challenge of navigating the dinosaur “robot” from one place to another, while avoiding pitfalls such as snakes and other barriers. This type of activity teaches and reinforces computational thinking, such that our students learn to approach the problem (getting the dinosaur safely “home”). It is not simply a matter of getting the dinosaur “robot” from A to B, the students must break down and “code” each step within the solution.
Once students understand the basics of coding, they can more easily transfer their knowledge and skills to a combination of tablets, specialized coding apps and our Dash & Dot robots. That might involve the same size grids as pictured above, smaller versions of it or much larger taped versions which can take up almost the entirety of a classroom floor. Students are presented with increasingly complex challenges that require more sophisticated solutions which can involve not only directional commands, but also the blinking of lights and commanding their robots to speak.
Beyond computational thinking and the acquisition of basic digital literacy, coding and robotics in our younger grades promote collaborative skills and help nurture resilience among our students. From the most basic unplugged coding task to the solving of more difficult Dash & Dot challenges, our students are presented with difficult material that often requires extensive trial and error to master. Coding and robotics can be fun and exciting, but it can also be challenging and frustrating. We believe that success on difficult tasks leads to deep and more meaningful learning. It is predicted that many future jobs will require strong problem-solving skills and a resilient attitude. Learning the fundamentals of computational thinking and sequential thinking from coding and Robotics starting at a young age is a great way to give our students a head start. The students pictured below had just solved a complex Dash & Dot challenge. Their excitement was the result of having worked collaboratively to solve a complex and difficult task. At RMS, we aim to cultivate such moments through the application of rigorous academics which are delivered in a nurturing and supportive environment.
To learn more about Rowntree Montessori Schools (RMS), continue browsing our website and ideally drop by any of our welcoming, friendly and family oriented campuses for a personal tour anytime Monday-Friday 9:30am-3:00pm. If you prefer, call to book an appointment for a personal tour anytime Monday-Friday 9:30am-3:00pm.
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