Product: Code & Go™ Robot Mouse Activity Set
Teacher Name: Kerri Hibberd
School/ Early Years Setting: Woodside Children’s Centre and Primary School
Age group product was trialed with: 4-5 year olds
The Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set is part of the Learning Resources new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) range, designed to bring problem solving to life for young children. The set provides an early introduction to basic programming concepts, enabling children to get hands-on while building problem solving and critical thinking skills as well as encouraging an understanding of position and direction. Colby, the fully programmable robot mouse is ready to follow commands to teach hands-on coding concepts; which is an integral part of the Computing Programme of Study in the National Curriculum for England (2014). Young learners can build a maze from one of the challenge cards included in the set or create their own. The included programming cards then support children to map out the path for programming the mouse to reach the cheese. Team work and co-operation are developed through children working together to solve the problem.
How did you use the product?
Firstly, I allowed the children to self-explore and then used it as an adult focus. After that I left it out for the children to use again unaided. Our topic is animals so the mouse fitted in very well with our activities.
Please provide some examples of how you used the product in the classroom:
First of all, I left the activity set out for the children to explore by themselves. They had a great time pushing all the buttons and working out what the mouse did. Next, I used the activity set as an adult focused activity and we used the cards to set up the track and get the mouse to the cheese. They enjoyed setting the track up to match the cards. After we learnt what all the buttons did and how to get the mouse to move where we wanted it to go I allowed the children to use it again unaided. Lots of the children were very good at visualising where they wanted the mouse to go while others physically moved it before programming it.
What tips would you give to other teachers using the product in their classroom?
Allow the children to explore the product first. I found many of my children were very hands on while others observed. It was great to see different styles of learning before teaching them how to use the product.
What are the benefits of the resource?
Appeals to all age ranges, cute design, user friendly and fun.
What did you like/dislike about the resource?
I loved the cards and the sound effects. I also liked the random function button as did the children. They tried to guess what it would do! There is nothing I disliked.
What is the long term appeal of the resource?
It’s a well-designed resource which can be easily extended by the children as they can design their own activity cards for others to try or write instructions for a friend to follow. It’s useable for all age ranges. My toddler even had a go and was able to move the mouse.
Is the product unique?
Parts of the product are unique such as the cheese. The children loved the challenge of making the mouse find the cheese and the added sound effects when he was eating it! Our school has a similar product but I prefer how this product comes with more additional pieces such as the tunnels and activity cards making it fun and easy to use straight away for a range of different activities.