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Mrs. Miller’s 3rd grade class takes a new approach to learning about polygons. Using a programmable robot called “Ozobots” students are able to create intricate shapes and learn about computer coding.
“Ozobots” are tiny robots that respond to color patterns. The first step in using an “Ozobot” is to set up the path that it will follow by drawing black lines. The “Ozobot” will follow this black line until it reaches a color pattern. The patterns are made up of three or more colors and each combination does something different. For example a red, green, red, green pattern causes the “Ozobot” to go in a zig-zag formation. The patterns are made using colored markers and each color must be long enough to read, but not too long or the the “Ozobot” will not recognize it as a pattern.
In this activity, the students were placed in partnerships to create triangles and other types of polygons. Mrs. Miller set parameters such as “Make a triangle with a zig-zag element” and the students proceeded to draw a triangle with the correct color code in it to make a zig-zag motion. If the zig-zag did not work or if the triangle was not a complete circuit, the students continued to make attempts until they were successful.
This activity helped to achieve the 3rd grade core standard that states, “Understand that shapes in different categories (e.g., rhombuses, rectangles, and others) may share attributes (e.g., having four sides), and that the shared attributes can define a larger category (e.g., quadrilaterals). Recognize rhombuses, rectangles, and squares as examples of quadrilaterals, and draw examples of quadrilaterals that do not belong to any of these subcategories..”.
The use of these “Ozobots” was a great way to visualize shapes while also teaching the basic fundamentals of coding. When Mrs. Miller announced they would be using “Ozobots”, the entire class cheered in excitement. Mrs. Miller planned a fun and engaging activity that will serve the purpose of developing these math and science abilities.