VEX 123 Coder cards are designed for your youngest students, and while they are made to be durable and easy to manage, there are things you can do to help care for your Coder cards in your setting.
Cleaning Your Coder Cards
Cleaning and disinfecting classroom materials is a part of many educators’ routines, especially now. Your Coder cards can be easily disinfected after student use, or even mid-lesson if unexpected situations arise. View this VEX Library article for specific information about cleaning products and methods that can be safely used with your VEX 123 materials.
Extra Coder Cards
Each VEX 123 Kit includes a set of 50 Coder cards. Included in each set are multiples of the most frequently used cards, like the Drive 1, Turn left, and Turn right Coder cards. This ensures that students can build projects successfully (like driving in a square), and also that you have extra Coder cards if the need arises. Each VEX 123 Classroom Bundle includes a complete extra set of Coder cards, so that individual Kits can be replenished if Coder cards get lost or damaged. In the event that you need to replace Coder cards, you can order extra sets from VEX’s online store (coming soon).
Keeping Coder Cards Functional
Coder cards are designed to be flexible, and they will continue to work in the Coder as long as they can be inserted into the slots. In the event that a Coder card gets bent, gently unbend it by hand, so that it is as flat as possible. If a Coder card gets stuck in the Coder, or other materials get inserted into the Coder card slots on the Coder, the protective cover on the Coder can be easily removed to clean out the Coder card slots if necessary. View the animation below to see how to remove and replace the protective cover.
Organizing and Managing Coder Cards with Your Students
You will have to choose how to best organize your VEX 123 materials to meet the needs of your students and setting. Here are some things to keep in mind as you get organized and seek to maintain those systems during the school year.
- Remind students about caring for their Coder cards - Include the Coder cards in your “Robot Rules” or routines when you first begin using the Coder with your students. You may want to add Coder card care to classroom posters in your 123 Learning Center, to make it easy to remind and reinforce those practices with your students throughout the year.
- Give students controlled access to Coder cards - Giving students all 50 Coder cards at one time can be potentially distracting, and does not necessarily set them up to be successful. Gathering the Coder cards you will need for a particular lesson ahead of time, and distributing those to students as they need them, will help students stay focused and help prevent Coder cards from getting lost.
- Regularly inventory your Coder cards - Get into the habit of checking to make sure that students return the right number of Coder cards after each lesson, or checking that materials are in order after each day of use in a Learning Center. Keeping track of your Coder cards in smaller increments makes finding potentially lost Coder cards easier, and ensures that you can be ready for your next lesson.
- Store Coder cards away from younger students - For younger students, you may want to keep the 123 Robots and Coders in children’s reach, but keep the Coder cards in a teacher area. Students can still be a part of the cleanup and care routines for their 123 materials, without being responsible for each small Coder card. The Coder card sleeves are hole punched so they can easily be stored in a binder or on a binder ring and hung up.