The most intense human development occurs in childhood. It is then that we do not just learn new skills or acquire knowledge – we discover how the world around us works. Therefore, robotics in kindergarten, as a programming technology, greatly narrows the possibilities of knowing the real world and the rules adopted in it. The most pressing question at this age is “Why?” This means that the presentation of material to children should answer this question.

The traditional approach in technology answers the question: “How to do it?”, Therefore, for many, robotics in kindergarten is a subject for a separate study. What is the difference in approaches, let’s figure it out.

Consider the first approach

Let’s look at some examples. One of the most common tasks in robotics is orientation in space and step-by-step actions. Directions: right, left, forward, backward can be learned by repetition. Children will happily repeat the actions of the robot, and if they themselves press the left or right key, this will answer the question: “How?”, In this case: “How to turn left or right?”

Everything was going well up to this point. Now let’s take a step-by-step task: two times to the right, one to the left, one to the right. If, to test the material you have learned, you place the children in two shirengi opposite each other in a mirror image and ask them to repeat the sequence at the same time, be sure that confusion will begin. This happens because there is not enough communication to control the action. During the training, there was no answer to the question: “Why to the right?” – it is in this direction at this angle.

Consider the second approach

With the answer to the question: “Why?” For adults, the logic of a child’s reasoning is often not clear, for whom, the logical answer to the question: “Why does a rooster crow?” Will be the answer: “Because he is a rooster.” That is, the rooster has such a crowing property. In other words, if we associate an action with a character, then this will be the answer to the question: “Why?” This connection through the character will become the very control point that the child can use in a non-standard situation. In addition, the connection of the action through the character becomes part of the game. Appealing to a character is natural. Once upon a time, boys played with toy soldiers, girls with talking dolls, then boys played with spiderman, and girls with Barbie dolls and monster high, let’s make a character in a robot game or a system. This will provide more opportunities for learning. First, creative, since you need to create a character, second, cognitive, since you can transfer knowledge through the relationship of characters. Children can easily remember actions and also imitate those whom they admire.

Exploring driving directions

Let’s imagine that we have made three characters. The first can only walk backwards, for example, cancer. The second character can only walk to the left, let it be a dog that runs after its tail. And the third character will have a sweet tooth who can get a treat if he raises his right hand, in which most of us hold a spoon. Studying the directions, you can touch on other knowledge, which will also remain in your memory for a long time. I believe that every teacher has already been able to conjecture what he would add to the story about the character. For example, when introducing a cancer, you need to tell that he needed to quickly move back in order not to be eaten by his natural enemies. And the otter, waterfowl and fish such as pike and perch want to eat cancer. Therefore, under water, when it is attacked, the cancer sharply bends its tail under itself, swims back and so escapes. A dog chasing its tail all the time to the left runs counterclockwise, it plays like that when it is bored. The characters being introduced must have their own complete story.

How to correctly represent the character so that there are no difficulties?

For an explicit representation of the character, of course, you need to use visual images, a picture, an excerpt from a video or cartoon. And as we have already found out, memorization will occur through the interaction of characters, and for children this is the most interesting thing. More precisely, not even the game itself, but participation in it. In addition to memorization, here you can practice social skills, help the child open up. To give an opportunity to speak out when creating characters, it is convenient to pair the children. An important point is the ability to create a character in a short time, because there is a high risk of losing interest. Don’t forget, kids want to play. Therefore, robotics in kindergarten is considered a necessary item in the upbringing of children, thanks to such an auxiliary robot, the child will begin to understand the world around him much faster.

Made the characters. They told stories. Played. Now let’s check again how the directions are remembered. Let’s do it in a playful way, slightly simplifying the task. Again, we will line up in two lines, ask to execute the commands for turning left, right with closed eyes, and we will pause to give time to remember the character and his story for self-control. Explain to the children that this is what pauses are for. Watch how they do it and shorten the pauses between teams.

STEM modular kits

Kit developer Robo wunderkind took into account all of the above when writing a training program for teachers. So that the teacher can immediately start using it, he needs to look at the general overview brochure that tells about the composition of the components and then open the lesson program.

Lesson cards are very simple to explain what to do. Each phase of the lesson is divided into parts and has its own description. Each lesson has its own task and it is formed not only for the teacher, but also for the child in the form of an introductory story. For convenience, new terms are highlighted, which will become familiar during the lesson. And to control the success of the passed material, the thesis formulated the skills that the child must master during the lesson.

For a more detailed description of the kits and video links, see the STE.education product catalog:

Illustrative examples

A whole series of video tutorials will appear soon, which will explain without words, addictions that are not simple at first glance. Watch a two-minute video to see what functions the switch has.

And the next video is just 22 seconds on how to get creative with the Halloween theme.

Expansion options

It should be noted that the manufacturer expects to actively use the kit for 2 years. If the basic set was initially selected, then along with it you will receive a description of 10 lessons. In many kindergartens, classes with 5 year olds are held once a week for an hour, i.e. the first 10 lessons will be held in 2.5 months.

From 6 years of age and older, it is recommended to choose the Education Kit, which has more modules. Then, by 10 lessons of the basic course, 12 more become available. At the end of this course, or in combination at your discretion, you can use additional thematic activities, for example, traffic rules or animal behavior.

Further, there is an opportunity to purchase an advanced Upgrade kit. It is suitable for both basic and educational set. More modules and sensors with different functions – more possibilities for combining these functions with each other.

Interestingly, teachers in courses often have an interest in trying to combine modules from different sets in one character. Yes it is possible. You can take several motors and connect to one control module, for example. In theory, a control module supports up to 84 modules and sensors connected to it. However, we ourselves have not tried to make such a monster, since the consumption from the battery also increases. But for the development of creativity, adapters are included so that you can add mechanical parts from the Lego constructor. This allows the character design to be more catchy and stand out.

DIFI.NET provides free courses for kindergarten teachers. In the courses, you can try the Robo Wunderkind kit yourself and practice the teaching approach that answers the question why. To register, send your name and contact phone number to ask@ste.education with the subject line why.

Two weeks before the course, we will definitely warn you as soon as the next group is formed.

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