ROCK HILL, SC (CN2 NEWS) – Many elementary students in the Rock Hill School District are welcoming a new friend to class. Her name is Abii and she is a robot.
District leaders say the robot is a tool to help with social and emotional learning as well as other academic lessons in math and reading.
Social and emotional learning has been going on for years, according to district leaders. The only new feature of this program is Abii the robot.
Every day when Standrick Rhodes visits his classroom at Oakdale Elementary School, lighting up Abii is part of his routine.
“She became a student in our class,” Rhodes says.
Rhodes is an outstanding student education teacher with the Building Bridges program in Oakdale. Rhodes recently welcomed Abii to her classroom.
Abii is an interactive robot that works with students with the socio-emotional learning program, “In Focus”. According to Dr. Nancy Turner, one type of learning has been going on for years, but now with a touch of high tech.
“Social and emotional learning is there, but what isn’t is robots,” says Turner.
Dr Rhodes says some of the lessons Abii helps with are bullying, dealing with emotions like sadness and many more.
In addition to social and emotional learning, Abii also helps students with math and reading.
We were offered two Abiis in our classroom. So I use one for whole group teaching, then one for one-on-one teaching and students who don’t particularly care about reading or people who hear them read or see what they’re doing, Abii is the best thing for them because it provides a safe environment for them to take risks, ”explains Rhodes.
Dr. Turner adds that while Abii works with elementary school students, social and emotional learning is aimed at K-12 students.
Below is more information from the Rock Hill School District on Abbi’s impact on students and more on how this program and the “In Focus” program are funded.
“The elementary students at Rock Hill Schools welcomed a new student to their classrooms this school year.
Abii the robot joined district classes as a new friend who encourages students in math and reading.
For some students, Abii is an old friend. Some students at Oakdale Elementary School worked with Abii last year on a pilot program.
Standrick Rhodes, an outstanding fifth-grade teacher in Oakdale, was one of the proving grounds for Abii last year. He watched his students connect with the robot for social and emotional learning.
It was also introduced to students at the Summer Reading Camp – an initiative for second, third and fourth graders.
Lula Brown, who currently teaches fifth grade at Ebenezer Avenue, worked with Abii over the summer with second grade students.
Brown was impressed with the students’ engagement when working with the robot. But the real proof was in the numbers. Each student at the summer reading camp worked with Abii one-on-one almost every day. Brown programmed Abii to meet the needs of each student. One student was struggling to identify vowel sounds and at the start of camp started with a 67% base on vowel identification lessons. At the end of summer reading camp, this student retested and got 100 percent.
Another student was identified by Brown as having difficulty with some basic math skills.
ABii works hand in hand with the Socio-Emotional Learning Program to encourage students to engage in math and reading lessons. Students are given a lesson on a computer that ABii is synchronized with and as they respond it helps raise their self-esteem, strengthen their social skills and encourage teamwork and collaboration .
Each elementary school has at least one robot that the behavior management assistant can use for quick 10-minute social and emotional learning activities. The robot is also used for small group lessons.
Here’s part of how we fund it: https://haydenhurstfoundation.com/our-areas-of-impact
Here is more information about Abii: