When you get your VEX 123 Kit, there are a few things you can do to get yourself organized. This article will cover the basics of unpacking your Kit and getting ready to use VEX 123 with your students.
123 Kit with a 123 Field
The first thing you should do is figure out how you are going to organize your VEX 123 contents and space in your classroom. Taking the time to presort and organize your Kit will help you and your students to start activities smoothly and clean up materials quickly and efficiently. Every classroom is different, but here are some organizing tips that can guide you in setting up your space:
- Pair a Coder with a 123 Robot and label them — Because a 123 Robot will need to be paired with a Coder in order to run a project, you may want to keep a set together. This will make it easy for students to identify which Coder goes with which 123 Robot, and they will not have to pair the robot each time they use it. This will also help students gather materials as they start an activity and keep them together when they clean up afterward.
- Label each Kit — Students will be more invested in the organization of materials if the organization is easy to understand. In order to help promote student agency in caring for the 123 Kits, you may want to label a set of Coder cards and an Art Ring to go with each Coder and 123 Robot set. This will make it easy for students to identify the components of each Kit, and help your classroom organization be more sustainable and successful over time.
- Keep Coder card sleeves in a 3-ring binder for each Kit — The Coder card sleeves were designed so that they could be kept in a 3-ring folder or binder. The sleeves themselves will help you and your students keep track of the Coder cards. Try making the color of each folder match the color of the 123 Robot so students can easily identify which folder goes with each Kit.
- Color code your labels — Young learners can easily sort and organize by color, and you may find that labeling each 123 Kit by color family works out well for your class’s usage. Additionally, the Art Ring colors match the 123 Robots, so students can easily find which ring matches their robot by color.
You may choose to present the Kits to your students already organized, and ready to use. Or, you may want to label the materials together with your students. This might take more time, but is a good way for students to take ownership of the organization, and to gain familiarity with the Kits.
Charge the 123 Robots
Once your Kits are organized, you should charge your 123 Robots so they are ready for use. Read the Using the VEX 123 Robot VEX Library article as a guide for how to charge your 123 Robot and to learn what the different indicator lights mean.
Install Batteries in your Coders
The Coder and Coder cards offer a screen-free method for coding the 123 Robot. You will want to make sure to install the batteries that come with your Kit in your Coders. Use a small screwdriver to open the battery door on the back of the Coder, and install 2 AAA batteries. The batteries should last approximately 6 months before needing to be changed. See the Using the VEX 123 Coder VEX Library article for more information on installing batteries and using the Coder.
Using VEXcode 123
VEXcode 123 is the block-based programming software that you and your students can use to code the 123 Robot. VEXcode 123 can be downloaded and installed on a device, or run through a browser. To install VEXcode 123, or access the browser link, visit the VEXcode download page. Then, select the button that matches your device, (or the browser option), and download the app.
You can also learn more about how to install or access VEXcode 123 on your device in the Setting Up VEXcode 123 VEX Library article.
Download the VEX Classroom App
To install the VEX Classroom App, visit the App Store on your device, and search for ‘VEX Classroom.’ Download the VEX Classroom App.
The VEX Classroom App is only for teacher use, so it should be installed only on the teacher’s device or smartphone. For more information about the features of the VEX Classroom App and how to use it, see the Using the VEX Classroom App VEX Library article.