Robots…Again!

Over the past two years children in my class have loved Boston Dynamics’ robots.  Well, that’s actually an understatement.  Children have been over the moon, and they have embraced every video from dancing to technology.

A new year just began.  Robots had not come into play… until a random question.

It happened like this…

Nap time was over.  Sadie was a sleepyhead.  I knew we needed to play one of our wake-up songs.  We have three, and each one couldn’t be more different:

Pata Pata

Reveille

Boston Dynamics Robots

“What song should we play to wake up Sadie?”

The crowd spoke, loud and clear: “The Robot Song!”  Okay, the crowd was mostly children who were in the class last year.  As soon as we played the video to wake up Sadie, all the other children – the newcomers – were thrilled.  They danced.  They practiced all the robot moves.  They were hooked.

Sadie woke up.  But, the children wanted more.  We sang and danced, and we watched videos of the robots learning to do hard things.  On the playground that afternoon a child noticed the T-shirt of a classmate and said, “Look, that’s Atlas!”  By golly, he was right.  It looked just like Atlas the robot.

It wasn’t enough.  I knew.  The next day we wrote a letter to Boston Dynamics.

A parent said, “So, who is Atlas?  My daughter keeps talking about Atlas.”  These are the questions that are music to my ears.  As much as we like the robots singing and dancing, we watch videos of Atlas walking through snow, climbing, falling down, doing front rolls, and lifting heavy objects.  Children ask questions.  They are glued to watching Atlas.

Thank goodness!

Because children love robots, and they’re naturally curious,  it’s a win-win for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and the next generation of scientists, technicians, engineers, and mathematicians.  Thanks to Boston Dynamics, I’m growing them in my classroom.

Jennie

About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
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61 Responses to Robots…Again!

  1. beth says:

    that’s so very cool! in synchronicity, I set up a playspace yesterday, mixing robots and humans to see what the kids would do. I took pics to share at school and I’ll be posting it tomorrow. great minds….)

  2. Ritu says:

    So amazing to see how this has grown over the last couple of years 💛

  3. Great, Jennie! I’m sure they’ll give you your own class robot soon. But please don’t neglect Gloria. 😉 Best wishes, Michael

  4. beetleypete says:

    I really hope that BD will bring a robot to your school one day soon. That would be a great publicity opportunity for them, especially if you could get it featured on the TV news.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Jennie says:

      That would be the coolest thing, in many ways. Publicity, yes, plus having children fascinated and a plug for STEM. I am still hoping we can visit, but I haven’t officially asked if they could / would bring a robot to school. My brain is whirring! I have been asking a number of times for a date in April for us to visit… so I can’t be too pushy. Best to you, Pete.

  5. Great job Jennie and the Bots!

  6. willedare says:

    I love that their interest in robots is sparked and nurtured in part by a fun song about robots. So music and movement become part of their enthusiasm and curiosity!

    • Jennie says:

      Music and movement is always the baseline to learning and creativity and fun. Of course you know that! Yes, thank you to the robots to light the spark. All it takes is a spark. Best to you, Will.

  7. You certainly are growing them, Jennie. And so many other special children.

  8. quiall says:

    The children are our future. Their curiosity is what will move us into that feature.

  9. All three are great songs to wake up to. I think they picked the right one to wake up Sadie on that day. Those Robots are so fun to watch. Is Wild Robot on the reading out loud agenda soon?

    • Jennie says:

      Yes, they picked the right one! Today was rainy, and we played this video at the end of the day. Parents stayed to watch their children dance and enjoy the song. It was awesome! Wild Robot will be our last chapter reading book of the school year, AND the sequel is our new book for read-aloud at the library. BTW, #3 is coming out, but not soon.

  10. I just want to know how they made that robot dance better than I do.🙂Great post, Jennie. This is definitely a big win-win for STEM education interest.

    • Jennie says:

      I heard they hired a professional choreographer. Gee, I would have done it for free. You should see the kids trying to do the moves. Priceless. On a side note, the owner is my age within a few years. I know in my heart he must have picked this song, because he surely loved it as much as I did! He chose wisely.

      Yes, this is a big win-win for STEM education and for exciting kids. Thank you, Bruce.

  11. All this is great news, Jennie. Thanks for sharing.

  12. What a fabulous thing to do ! Oh, Jennie you are so much fun and they love it. Wake me up any time !!!🤣

  13. That was a fun musical interlude! (I had been falling asleep at my desk.) It’s pretty darn amazing that robots can have a groove thing to shake.

  14. Darlene says:

    I love the songs the children like as wake-up songs. Not surprised they like the robot song the best. Kids of the future.

  15. petespringerauthor says:

    I’m curious what you’re wake-up songs are, Jennie> Do they have names?

    I’m not surprised you’re running with this idea like a true teacher. While we have the things we like to do each year in a classroom, education and learning should never be stagnant. I can picture the kids feeding off your and each other’s energy regarding robots.

    • Jennie says:

      Hi Pete. Did the three wake-up songs not display in the post? I’m so sorry. The first is Pata Pata by Miriam Makeba. I show the version on the Ed Sullivan Show. The second is Reveille, and I play different versions. The third is our favorite Boston robots.

      Yes, you can picture how it happened, running with this idea. Emergent Curriculum is what makes learning come alive, because the children are behind the wheel. Of course it helps that I have loved this song since I was in 7th grade. The energy is terrific! 🙂

  16. I saw the West Point one, immediately KNEW I’d found the winner, until I saw the robot. Amazing.

  17. CarolCooks2 says:

    Fingers crossed you get a visit it would be so awesome…

  18. Dan Antion says:

    I love that you give them a choice of wake up songs. They sure know what they like. I hope you get the visit.

  19. How marvelous, Jennie. I would have loved this as a kid.

  20. I’m as mesmerized by robots as the kids are, Jennie. I hope humans will use them to make the world a better place. Rides for kids is a great idea!

    • Jennie says:

      They are wonderful, Diana. Like you, I like them as much as the children do. I do think they will serve a great purpose, and rides would be so much fun!

  21. bosssybabe says:

    How sweet! I love that music is such an important part of your classroom and for learning! Charlotte always comes home telling us things that happened in school and she’s so proud every time she tells us something new and exciting! 🙂

  22. Norah says:

    These are all great wake up songs. I love that you are allowing your children’s creativity and curiosity to be awakened every day. Love those robots.

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