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Addition and Subtraction Strategies using Blue-Bots

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Keywords: Coding, Math, Addition, Subtraction, Dice, Programming, Collaboration, Blue-Bots
Subject(s): Social Skills, Technology, Math
Grades 1 through 3
NETS-S Standard:
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Halverson Elementary School, Albert Lea, MN
Planned By: Brenda Reeder
Original Author: Brenda Reeder, Albert Lea
1. Students gather supplies: Blue-Bot, Blue-Bot mat, scratch pad, pencil, a pair of 6-, 10-, or 12-sided dice, and a pack of 0-24 number cards for the mat. (Students may differentiate their activity by choosing the set of dice they are most comfortable with. These can be traded up or down as they try the activity.)
2. Students place the number cards under the clear plastic on the mat.
3. Students choose which role they will start with; either the writer or the coder.
4. The writer shakes the dice and writes an equation using the numbers from the dice, either addition or subtraction, on the scratchpad.
5. The coder solves the problem and writes the answer on the scratchpad.
6. The writer checks the answer for accuracy. If it is incorrect, the writer uses kind words to have the coder try again.
7. When the coder gets the correct answer, he/she programs the Blue-Bot to get to the correct number on the mat. The coder may choose any path to get to the correct number. (The first time, the coder places the bot on an open box on the mat. After the first time, the bot stays on the correct number and is programmed from that number to the next correct answer.)
8. If the next equation results in the same answer, the coder programs the bot to do the Blue-Bot dance. (Coding a series of 4 turns to the right, 4 turns to the left, or 2 to the left and 2 to the right)
9. Partners switch jobs and continue the activity.
At the end of the lesson we talk about what was the most difficult thing about this activity, and what was the most fun part of this activity. The classroom teacher circulates among the students to check for engagement, accuracy, and level of difficulty.
Materials: Electronics, Integrating Technology
Other Items: 1 Set of twenty-four 6-sided dice, $5-$15 each
1 Set of twenty-four 10-sided dice, $5-$15 each
1 Set of twenty-four 12-sided dice, $5-$15 each
12 Blue-Bots, $115.00 each, total of $1380.00
12 Blue-Bot Mats, $10-$70 each
12 Sets of Number Cards 0-24, $Hand Made each
12 Scratch Pads, $0.00 each, total of $0.00
12 Pencils, $0.00 each, total of $0.00