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Kimberly Pascarella Blocks to Robots: An in-service for teachers
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Kimberly Pascarella Blocks to Robots: An in-service for teachers

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  • Welcome and thank you for coming to this workshop today. For those of you who may not know me, I am Kimberly Pascarella, the Kindergarten Inclusion teacher at H & M Potter. I know, you may be asking yourself what are robotic manipulatives and why am I wasting my time at another pointless workshop? Allow me to explain not only what they are, but how they will help to bring technology into our classrooms while spanning across the curriculum and reaching all learners.
  • Think of the manipulatives that we have in our classrooms (cuisinaire rods, pattern blocks, pan balance). Now fast-forward to what we think would be 20 + years into the future. We are wrong, however, students as young as Kindergarteners are learning engineering skills through play based learning activities that explore mechanical concepts such as gears, levers, joints, motors, and sensors.
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    • 1. Robotic Manipulatives: How can they help our early childhood classrooms? A technology workshop for kindergarten teachers. Presented By: Kimberly Pascarella
    • 2. What are robotic manipulatives? • In her book, Blocks to Robots, author Marina Umaschi Bers defines robotic manipulatives as “any construction kit for children involving two elements: construction in the physical world and programming that construction in the computer so it can become interactive and respond to stimulus in the world.” QuickTime™ and adecompressorare needed to see this picture. http://www.tufts.edu/~mbers01/
    • 3. Classroom manipulatives: A brief history. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. Froebel_gifts.jpg QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. legos.jpg QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. http://www.citejournal.o rg/vol9/iss2/editorial/art icle1.cfm QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. http://blackgoku.blog spot.com/2009_11_0 1_archive.html QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. http://robotlego.wo rdpress.com/2009 /05/ •In the mid 1800s Froebel developed a set of toys (known as Froebel’s gifts) to teach concepts such as color, size, shape, and number. •In 1949, building bricks gave way to the first self-locking brick, produced by Lego. •In the 1960s, Seymour Papert began developing the first robotic manipulative, called the “floor turtle.” •In the 1980s MIT engineers and the Lego company collaborated to create a programmable construction kit. •In the late 1990s robotic manipulatives were brought to the homes and classrooms of children through the development of Lego Mindstorms.
    • 4. How do robotic manipulatives help in the early childhood classroom? • Develop technological fluency They…… • Incorporate project-based and cooperative learning into the classroom • Foster problem solving skills • Span across the curriculum • Motivate students to learn complex concepts QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. http://pcsedu.com/b log/?paged=2
    • 5. Setting up the Environment •To successfully set up an early childhood robotic learning environment, five physical stations should be included in the design. •Programming stations •Building stations •Design and art stations •Floor space •Walls http://www.roboticslearning.com/kids.htm l QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. http://www.roboticslearning.com/kids.html QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. http://www.roboticslearning.com/kids.html QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. http://belladia.typepad.com/crafty_crow/2009 /09/creation-station.html QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. http://www.share2learn.com/classroomt ourk2.html
    • 6. Robotic Construction Kits • There are two types of robotic construction, which are the most developmentally appropriate for Kindergarten students: Lego Mindstorms and Pico Crickets. •Each program is alike in many ways, however, they also have unique characteristics that set them apart from each other. •Each program can be used to reach different goals and objectives. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. http://www.robotiq.co.uk/ccp51/cgi-bin/cp-app.cgi? usr=51F1802563&rnd=1648&rrc=N&affl=&cip=&act=&aff=&pg=cat& ref=nxt_products QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. http://www.picocricket .com/educators.html
    • 7. Lego Mindstorms • Uses software with a multi-level approach • Builds upon a well-known material: the basic Lego building brick • Uses the RCX programmable brick • Used specifically to create robots QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. http://www.domesro.com/2009/01/tip-of- month-lego-mindstorms-nxt.html
    • 8. PicoCrickets • User friendly • Easy to use for mobile projects • Not limited to control only motors • Extends students creative side QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. http://www.shapingyouth.org/?p=4772
    • 9. How to get parents involved. • Parents can work with their children at home. • Parents can volunteer in the classroom. • Parents can organize after school activity groups. • Parents can serve as a connection between the school districts and the industries. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. http://www.ros.org/news/robots/
    • 10. Additional Resources •Here are some websites to check out for more information on robotic manipulatives. http://www.legoengineering.com http://www.mos.org/nctl/ http://www.ceeo.tufts.edu/robolabatceeo/

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