Sunday, August 24, 2014

Using LEGO in Reading

In my new job as a multiage K-2 teacher, we use LEGO curriculum. So when school started I got to go to LEGO training instead of a training on the new assessment in the district (LUCKY ME!!). We even used the We Do program to turn our LEGO into robots.
This wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.  I felt it was a bit complex for my K-2 Class. However there are parts that could be used in my class.  I will let you know how that part goes when I try it.  Here is another thing we built.
We also learned how to use LEGO in reading, writing, math and science.  This post I want to talk mostly about using LEGO in reading.

  I have come to realize I have been using LEGO in my classroom all wrong or maybe not as effectively as I should. I just had LEGO kits out for centers during their free choice time. When using LEGO in your classroom as a teaching tool, it is very important to set up guidelines. First, Building Challenges are given by the facilitator. When starting out this is the teacher but can be the student as they become more familiar with the program. The facilitator is the one who gives the builders their challenges or jobs. Boxes or LEGO bricks are not touched until they are told to begin. They use the LEGOs as tools to come up with a solution to each challenge. Students think with their hands. If working in groups everyone participates in each part of the process. Students listen to others with their eyes. There are no wrong answers when working with LEGO. This is also one time it is NOT OK to share. Each child has their own kits and they keep track of their own bricks. Here is the guidelines that could be printed out, posted, put up on promethean or smart board to cover each rule.
In my training we made avatars that represent us.  When building our avatars, there was one technique I will definitely use in the classroom. We were told to open our LEGO kits and not touch anything.  We looked in the box with hands in our laps. We looked 30 seconds. Then we we built for 3 minutes. Here was my avatar.
We were also asked to build simple objects.  We were to build a tower. Here is mine.
We each shared our builds.  We listened with our eyes.  The facilitator never tries to explain what they are seeing but gives builder time to share and if he/she has a question may as ask open questions like. What does this or that represent? It is amazing the different responses we get.
We were given challenges to build a model that represents a book we read recently to our class. Can you guess what book my model represents?
Clearly..It  is Charlotte's Web. This was a fun exercise. We talked more about how LEGO helps student to think with their hands, share and have excitement about reading. In my excitement I also created some  building challenges that you could use before, during and after reading.  This would be great whole, small group, or individual. These could be used in any level k all the way to twelfth grade.  Here is an example of one.
They can be re-used throughout the year.  The kits we used in my training was Build to Express which is amazing. However you could create your own kits with odds and ends of LEGO. 

No comments:

Post a Comment