Kim Ashley
I teach Kindergarten through third grade reading at Bentley Primary School/ Halstead Schools. I am the Title I reading teacher for my school and direct a mentoring program offered by HOSTS. (Help One Student To Succeed). I am currently working on a masters degree in Curriculum and in Instruction through WSU and pursuing a reading specialist license. I think using Bee-Bots with my students is an exciting way to bring another hands-on tool to their educational experience.


Activities

Bee-Bot Sound Boxes
Bee-Bot Word Webs

August 14 Journal Entry
I am enjoying creating different ways for my students to use Bee-bots. My idea for this week is to cut a shower curtain into four pieces and make gridlines similar to the vinyl grid we each received at training. I will place a grid at each mentor station with a bee-bot. Students in first grade will study their sight words using Bee bots. Later they will use the mats to locate base words.

August 21 Journal Entry
My second grade boys love Bee-bots. Two of my second grade students used a clear mat with subtraction facts placed underneath in the grid spaces. I would draw a number and they would take turns programming their Bee-bots to go to the correct fact that equaled that number. I noticed how easily they remembered to "clear" the program for a new move. They were very motivated to play with the Bee-bots and did not realize how much time they spent with subtraction facts.

September 4 Journal Entry
I have found that I can incorporate using Bee-bots just about everyday. My students are very motivated to use them at some time during their sessions. We talked about taking care of the Bee-bots because of course, the boys like to race and make them go backwards. My students do a nice job of taking care of them. This past week, a second grade student having trouble with reversals and conceptualizing the number grid, laid out his own number grid, 1-100 using number cards. It was interesting watching him work to place the cards. I placed some of the numbers in the beginning, making it into a puzzle. When he was finished, we placed a clear shower curtain over the grid. I then gave him directions to find a number with a certain combination. For example, "Find the number with eight in the tens place and four in the ones place." He then would program the Bee bot to find that number. He absolutely loved this activity and wants to do it again. The size of the cards used was 4x7 making him have to estimate how far the bee-bot would have to go to get to the number. Another activity I used was for third grade. We placed three racing strips under the mat and created three teams consisting of two students each. The racing strips were 6 x 6 colored paper taped together. (These racing strips can be saved and reused.) I then asked each team a questions from game cards about synonyms. Each card gives a number of places to move if the question is answered correctly. The teams raced their Bee-bots and enjoyed working together to answer the questions about synonyms. Bee-bots have been such a great addition to my classroom.

September 6 Journal Entry
We continue to use the clear mat with Bee-bots all the time. Today, two first grade boys practiced listening for the ending sounds in words. Block letter cards from Alphabet Bingo were placed underneath each square. I would say a word ending in a particular sound. Each child would take a turn moving his Bee-bot to the correct letter that made the sound. They LOVED it and we ran out of time. They are looking forward to playing the game again.
I work with Kindergarten through 3rd grade students. As I have sat down with each group of kids, they have been very attentive and interested in taking good care of the Bee-bots. They call them "Buggies". I think taking the time to sit down and talk to them about how special it is to have received the Bee-bots to stay at our school and giving them the opportunity to tell ways to take the best care of them really left an impression. I have not yet shared the Bee-bots with kindergarten. I would like to think of a fun, fantastic story that would be appealing to 5 year olds about where the Bee-bots came from and how they chose to live at Bentley Primary School. I am working on that one.

September 13 Journal Entry
The students ask to play with the Bee bots everyday. What a motivational device. Today we used them as game pieces on a floor size mat. Third grade students have been working on synomyms and words in context this week so we used these ideas for questions in a game. Six students were divided into three teams of two each. The students raced their bee-bots in straight lines of six inch boxes. The students listened very attentively while the other students were asked the questions. Prior to the game, we reviewed and reminded the students of the care and feeding of Bee-bots. The game was over when the first Bee-bot passed the finish line.

September 24 Journal Entry
Every Thursday is Bee bot day. We try to end each of the sessions with the kids in our pull out time in groups. Thursday is always a good day to race Bee bots! I will upload a photo of our most recent game in the next day or two. Second grade students were asked to say the number of sounds they heard in a word. If they gave the correct number of sounds, they could move two spaces. If they could also give the correct spelling of the word they could go another space. This was a great activity to reinforce phonemic awareness for these children. They also worked on letter sound correspondence effortlessly. They were very excited about the bee-bot race!

October 4 Journal Entry
Kindergarten students used the small vinyl grid to locate letters for beginning sounds in pictures. They drew a picture card and gave the sound and the letter name. They told me where to send the bee-bot. I programmed the bee-bot to go to that letter. Four letters were placed on the grid, so each letter was in four different places. The letters, S, T, R, M, were represented. They absolutely loved watching the bee-bot go to the letter. This was a very motivating activity, more so than just showing them pictures and placing them by a letter. We will definitely use this activity with other letter combinations throughout the year.