Help Kids Learn to Code with Dash and Dot from Wonder Workshop

How kids can explore and create in STEM with ease

This week has been genius week in eighth-grade keyboarding! We’ve finished our portfolios and it is time to celebrate. We have 3d printing, robot making, and all kinds of building going on. But today, I’m writing about one of my favorite tools for teaching coding quickly, Dash and Dot. Scroll down to enter the giveaway contest!

Dash and Dot from Wonder Workshop

These Wonder Workshop robots make it easy to learn to code in my STEM lab.

This is a sponsored blog post by Wonder Workshop. I only recommend products or services that I use and like. See full disclosures at the bottom of this post. 

Learn more about Dash and Dot

Out of the Box Coding with Kids

So, out of all of the items I had available, Dash and Dot from Wonder Workshop were the ONLY ones which I didn’t have to help my students figure out. I literally took the Wonder Pack and handed it to my students to open and start using. I said,

“Here are two robots, Dash and Dot, there are apps on the store you can use and there are a lot of attachments and cool things, go for it. Show me what you can do.”

In moments they were driving the robots, adding attachments and playing the xylophone. I’ve used Dash and Dot before but they have something new, the catapult.

I was fascinated by the catapult and they struggled a little. I didn’t intervene, I just said,

“I wonder if you all are hard working enough to figure out the catapult.”

It took longer, but soon they were throwing things across the room. (In a good, non-hurtful way, of course.)

Cool Lesson Plans to Help Kids Learn to Code

I’ve been using Dash and Dot for over two years now with kids of all ages. I often point them to the Dash and Dot curriculum page to figure out what they can do with them.

I have the Dash and Dot Wonder Pack in my classroom. It comes with lots of accessories and attachments. (Even some Lego extensions.) We're hosting a giveaway contest! Scroll down to enter!

I have the Dash and Dot Wonder Pack in my classroom. It comes with lots of accessories and attachments. (Even some Lego extensions.) We’re hosting a giveaway contest! Scroll down to enter!

 

For example, it was rainy one day and a student asked what Dot could do. He found out how to program Dot to play Hot Potato. Then, as they played, he enjoyed changing the speed and timing to make the game different each time. We ended up with ten kids at break programming and playing their own “high tech” version of the low tech hot potato game. So much fun!

Get Lesson Plans. So, while I often like to approach learning from a genius hour/ maker space / tinkering approach, there are some awesome lessons https://teachers.makewonder.com/lessons you can do in the classroom. 

Why Do We Help Kids Learn to Code?

As I’ve shared before, coding is an important skill for students to learn. We want our students to think computationally. I don’t want students playing games – I want them to MAKE games. I don’t want students using apps, I want them MAKING apps. Likewise, I want student making, creating, and melding their environment. While I use dash and dot with older students and they love them, these cute toy robots are targeted to K-5 students.

I believe these robots make an excellent addition to:

  • Classroom maker space
  • Summer camps and robotics experiences
  • Summer enrichment
  • STEM labs, STEAM labs, and FAB labs
  • Any elementary classroom
learn to code with the wonderbots

During innovation week (the first week of school), I had students figuring out and teaching everything they could learn about Dash and Dot. I’ve been using these robots to introduce coding to all ages for the last two years. They are simple to use out of the box.

Apps for Dash and Dot from Wonder Workshop

There are many apps you can use to program the Dash and Dot which include:

  • Wonder App –  This is the basic app to control Dash and Dot.  Students can program, drive, and do other things with the wonder app. This is usually the first app they get.One of the favorite things my students do is take a phone and put it on the smartphone app and Facetime with it. They used another phone to drive Dash. We hook up the phone that is Facetiming with Dash back on my big board. So, the students can literally drive Dash around the school and say hello to people and talk via Facetime. It was their own virtual presence! We had lots of conversations after they hit on this. And they were just tinkering. They go much deeper into programming with this basic app.
  • Blockly – If students have used Scratch, Blockly will be very simple. This is our favorite coding app. You can do simple things with it, but you’d be surprised at the advanced things older kids will figure out.
  • Xylo – This app lets Dash play the xylophone. Musically inclined students enjoy this.
  • Path – This app is a little more advanced but students learn about sensors and events by using this tool. For example, you can have students teach the robot to follow a path, but to move and go around obstacles. We talk about “self-driving” cars when using this app. You can get into some pretty advanced concepts in a simple way. While you might not want to use the “big words” like control flow and algorithm design, students don’t need to know the words to do these things.
  • Go – This app help students get started with Dash and Dot and teaches them how to play. While my older students start with the Wonder App, when using these with younger kids, you’d probably want to start with Go.

Dash and Dot Wonder Pack Giveaway Contest

Dash and Dot Wonderpack Giveaway Contest

So, if you want to make coding a dash, get the robots Dash and Dot from Wonder Workshop. Here’s the link to their teacher portal to learn more.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This blog is a sponsored blog post. The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to edit and post it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.)

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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95 thoughts on “Help Kids Learn to Code with Dash and Dot from Wonder Workshop

  1. We just started integrating coding and robots in to our middle school computer classes as well. So far we’ve used to the Finch, I’d be curious to see what the difference between the finch robot and dash and dot would be.

  2. What ages do Dash and Dot work for? Would it be appropriate for 2nd/3rd grade? I definitely need to integrate more STEM and tech into my classroom and this looks like fun!

  3. What an incredible way to allow students to create and innovate! I like to start the year showing students several problems that have not yet been solved, or where we still need new and innovative solutions to world problems, then challenge them to flex their creative muscles to become those problem solvers of the future. This tool would be a great way to flex those problem solving muscles!

  4. What fun! Vickie, you are one of my favorite educator bloggers. Thank you so much for all the great things you share–info, ideas, and inspiration!!

  5. I really would like to integrate coding in my 4th grade classroom. This would definitely be an amazing tool to accomplish this goal!

  6. Last month, I was introduced to Dash and Dot and a robotics training workshop. I purchased myself to start a with a robotics program with my students; it came yesterday! I’m happy to find more information here. Thanks, Vicki!

  7. I agree with your experience of the kids teaching themselves to use these fun tools. The apps have great tutorials that can teach very young children how to code the robots even if they’ve never coded before. It also helps that these robots have wonderful personalities that further encourages the kids to engage with them.

  8. I love these robots as well. I bought 2 Dashes and Dots last school year to help me introduce coding in a very fun way to students in grades 1 & 2. I found a “Capture the Kingdom” game in YouTube and we jumped in! We formed teams and rotated so that all students could get fair turns. Having only 2 sets in a room of 18-21 students is our biggest challenge. This year we joined the Wonder League Challenge Competition. Our coding club met twice weekly for 1 hour each meeting, before school on Wednesday and Friday morning.
    More robots would be helpful to really dive into coding and learn all about the robots features and create our own games.

  9. I love these little guys. I’m ending year 2 with Dash and Dot. I bought 2 sets last year to help me teach k-5 students how to code. I found a “Capture the Kingdom” math game online and we marked off our linoleum floor to the grids needed for the game. We formed teams and the students rotated to each have coding turns. This year we joined the Wonder League Challenge Competition. Much excitement and commitment for both students and parents. We met 1 hour before school every Wednesday and Friday for 10 weeks. More robots would be beneficial for classroom project engagement!

  10. I used Dot and Dash this year in my after school Maker Space program and then took them out into the classrooms. My second grade teachers were so taken with them they turned around and created a map skills lesson with them.

  11. I just got them for my public library and really appreciate learning from others who have used them successfully

  12. Wow! I love these little robots. I want them for my classroom! We recently used codecombat.com to learn Python and Javascript.

  13. The kids love coding and the addition of a Dash and Dot would really increase student engagement! I hope to add this to my classroom.

  14. This looks like it would be a great addition to a STEM lab! My students have had some experience using Blockly, so this would be a natural “next step” for them. I also think it might be my grandson’s next Christmas gift!

  15. I have been given the task of finding budget worthy robotics to use in our preK – 8th grade school and being new to robotics I have been intimidated. This post puts it all in perspective for me. Thanks!

  16. I think these would be such a great hands-on way to teach kids this important skill which is being completely overlooked in most elementary schools. It ties in so nicely with their math concepts, too!

  17. My students have loved working with Dash and Dot this year. My students are younger elementary and found a couple of the apps where they could play with the robots without actually having to code anything. I hope that we can incorporate more coding next year with them. Dash is the one the students fight over since he actually moves. They have been a lot of fun this year!!!

  18. I have been using hour of code for two years and this year we delved into scratch for grades 4 and 5. I would love to incorporate robots, but have not really figured out which ones to get since there are so many to choose from. What are the differences between Dash and Dot? Can you purchase Dash or Dot? What are the advantages of purchasing both? Will the students be able to use Scratch or is it only a blockly based robot…I would like to try them out now that I know you have used them, Vicki….

    • Dash and dot go together. They each have different features and abilities. Dash moves and Dot doesn’t but has some extra features and sensors that Dash does not. And yes, you can purchase them, I have some links in this article. If your students are doing scratch they can do blockly easily. Good questions.

  19. Hi, Vicki! I am a librarian/technology teacher for a K-5 school in Wentzville, Missouri. We are the Flint Hill Firebirds of the Fort Zumwalt School District. I am very interested in building up a makerspace that includes technology like Dot and Dash! We are a brand new building so my budget is spread pretty thin! I have a few Ozobots, but would love to add this resource as well! I envision using these bots with the K-2 kiddos, especially! Thanks for all your posts!

  20. Of all the ‘learn to code’ and educational robot kits out there, Wonder Workshop’s Dash and Dot stand out because of their quirky, friendly appearance, ease of use and out-of-the-box experience. The multitude of apps is very nice. For the price, I wish they would make the curriculum completely free though.

  21. I have one Dash robot, but would love another set. I have no other robots in my library, but I can tell you that the kids have absolutely loved Dash this year!!! I also would love the get some of the extras that go with Dash!

  22. I am hoping to have two or three Dot and Dashby fall. We have Spheros and Ozobots so she his would be a perfect next step They look like they would be a perfect addition to Innovation Time in the computer lab.

  23. We love Dash & Dot! We have 6 sets in our school STEAM Lab. Students love the challenges/quests that are built into the apps, as well as creating their own challenges and adventures for the robots.

  24. This product seems so cool! I teach high school, but I have a four-year-old niece who would love this. Any recommendations on how it can be used in the secondary grades?

  25. Even though I’ve been using Dash for over a year and Dot for just 6 months, I appreciate the information share! I learned something new!

  26. We are beginning to integrate STEAM in our schools and this looks like such a great way to get kids interested in coding!

  27. I’m so impressed with the versatility of Dash and Dot and look forward for the opportunity to utilize this highly motivational product in class!

  28. Coding is a game changer for our students. It takes real life application and makes it fun and engaging for our students!

  29. The Dash and Dot robots look really easy to use and as a Technology Teacher having coding and robot stations are important for teaching. Dash and Dot look like they make coding and problem solving fun. Coding+Fun = Learning in my computer lab.

  30. Great article! I introduced Coding to our K-5 students this year via Code.org. It was a great success. I am excited about introducing Dash and Dot to our students next year! There are so many wonderful possibilities.

  31. Hi Vicki, I always look forward to your blog and new ideas. I am the computer teacher at a PK-8 school in Upper Darby, PA. We are looking to grow into Dash and Dot Wonder Workshop products. We are currently preparing a classroom to become a Maker Room. We are excited and looking for sponsors to help us in this endeavor.

  32. We are just getting started with creating a Makerspace at our school. I would love to include Dash and Dot! It seemed perfect for any age students. Thank you, Vicki, for all of the great information!

  33. Seems like they would be a great tool to have for my students at both my schools: the elementary and middle school. I’m an ESL teacher, and my students just thrive when they can learn through working together.

  34. What an awesome giveaway! We are starting to use coding more and more in our elementary classroom. Dash and Dot look very exciting – we sure would love to give them a try! #littlescodetoo Thank you!

  35. I was looking for another tool to reinforce coding this year with my K-8 graders. This looks like so much fun alone and then with all the extra attachments I am so excited about the ways we could use this in my classes. My favorite I think is the catapult – so much potential and who doesn’t like to fling things across the room or at a friend, and now you can actually learn something while doing it. Thanks for sharing this resource.

  36. I am so impressed by this new coding tool. As a former principal, I recognize the value this has for kids. I now have 5 grandgirls, any combination of which would be visiting me during the summer. I would LOVE TO introduce them to Dash and Dot!

  37. My brain has read and watched in two different directions. Direction one, I read and watched as a teacher thinking about how I could use Dash and Dot in my classroom. Direction two, I read and watched as a grandmother of eight very active and curious grand children. I am excited to learn more!

  38. Wow! I was looking for a way to encourage STEM during summer enrichment! I tutor my own grandchildren (they love science), and they will love exploring via Dash and Dot!

  39. So amazing! My kids have done well persevering to figure out Ozobot, so I know they would love Dash and Dot as well – so many things to try!

  40. I love this idea, “I don’t want students playing games – I want them to MAKE games. I don’t want students using apps, I want them MAKING apps.”

  41. This is an amazing tool! I’ve always thought of Dash and Dot being mostly for younger students but I can see that older students enjoy it as well!

  42. I’m wondering how high schoolers would take to these. Is there something similar geared toward older kids?

    • I used them with ninth and tenth as well. So, after We used scratch to make video games, they used blockly to program dot and make games- the hot potato game was theirs. Then, they are ready to move on to more advanced things.

  43. I am the robotics coach at my school and I teach physical science. What an easy and fun way to begin kids coding! Not only the kids, but me. I know some very rudimentary coding, but would love to learn more!

  44. This year one of our freshman English teachers used the Dash and Dot with her students and it was very successful. They discussed themes and journey’s through characterization. I am not so inventive but after reading your blog, I think I can give it a try next year. Thanks. Very interesting.

  45. We just put Maker Space materials in our Middle School and I am looking for ideas for our elementary schools. Dash and Dot would be perfect for our K-5 schools! Thanks for all of the valuable information, Vicki!

  46. I’m glad I came across this review and resources. Recently I recommended my school to purchase the Dash and Dot, and having these resources will help give teachers ideas how to use them.

  47. Thanks Vicki. This is great. I haven’t seen a lot of uses of Dash and Dot past the primary grades yet, but I’m glad to see that older students can use them too.

  48. I’m always interested in getting robots for me…umm, I mean my 2nd graders. I love the idea of being able to code with the robots, since many of my students are familiar with Code.org and the block style of coding. Thank you for reviewing these.

  49. Would love to win this great prize pack – I am a school librarian – would be a great addition to my makerspace.

  50. We love Dot and Dash! This is one of my students’ favorite tools. This is a robot kit that will grow with students, from kindergarten through middle school.

  51. I borrowed one Dash from my local Barnes & Noble this past spring, through their Community Partnership Program. We only had “Booky” for a week, but each of my K-5 classes got to work with him once. The fire was lit! I applied for a grant through my elementary school’s PTA to purchase one for my Project-Based Learning classroom.
    All my students enjoyed driving Booky around, and a few built ramps and bowling pins for him out of blocks. I know that with our own Dash, my students could have the opportunity to learn the coding piece of the puzzle and expand their learning.

  52. We used dash and dot with my STEM Girls club. In just under one hour they had them doing playing songs and interacting with each other plus asking for them to come back again.

  53. We’re hoping to start integrating Dash and Dot in the next school year. Everyone really seems to love them!

  54. I went to a technology conference last month and a local elementary school had taken a group of students to demonstrate how they use dash and dot in their classroom. They were excited to have the adults try to manipulate the robots through a maze. They giggled as we tried to manipulate dash and dot! It was a wonderful experience that we want to purchase a set for our maker space in the library. We are anxiously awaiting our budget next year to order!!

  55. I’ve been using several coding websites from Hour of Code with my fifth graders. Dash and Dot sounds like an awesome opportunity to take the coding to the next level!

  56. I am looking at purchasing some coding robots for my 4th gr. classroom. I am wondering if these bots can be programmed using chromebook apps?
    Thank you,
    Kim