7th December, 2013
Entry by MaryAnn M. for LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester's Teacher Advisory Board.
In the Curriculum
We use our Duplo sets as a tool for students to express their ideas and construct their own understanding of the concepts we discuss. In science we used LEGO to build models our houses, farms, and trees. In math we measure with Duplo, and in literacy we create stories with our Lego characters and people. LEGO allows students to express themselves in a way pencil and paper cannot. LEGO is helping my students who might not otherwise be successful, surpass all their learning goals while being creative, collaborative, and socially interactive.
LEGO as Free Choice
My students wait for the day that their team is going to the LEGO center. All my children love building during free choice with the simple machines sets. I had a group of girls build strollers for their babies with the Duplo Simple Machines and the next day I had a two special education boys and two regular education boys work together for over half an hour, discussing and working together to build the vehicles from the pictorial directions. With LEGO I know that free choice is going to be a truly enriching experience for all the children.
My Future Plans…Donors Choose
I am extremely excited about how LEGO can be used in the curriculum to make the Common Core Curriculum and enriching authentic experience for my students. The following is my proposal.
In my classroom we are investigators...this year we want to investigate forces and motion. First we will work in teams to build simple machines, then we will use our knowledge of simple machines to broaden our understanding of forces and motion.
My kindergarten students are excited about learning. They love to build, explore, and investigate the world around them. They are full of questions and curiosity and need authentic experiences to help them learn the rigorous curriculum that we have created for them.
We will begin our unit by exploring simple machines through a series of building projects in groups of three. Students will follow directions and work cooperatively to build each project. As the students build with the DUPLO we will be learning about simple machines and will be charting our growing understandings. We will research the books to find out how forces and motion work and then we will use the DUPLO pieces to "plan and conduct an investigation to compare the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object" (From the Next Generation Science Standards). I will use the additional materials requested to reinforce and differentiate my lessons to ensure I meet the needs of all my learners.
We are a small school in the Bronx NY with kindergarten and first grade students. We are a Title One school with many of our students coming from low income families. We are also a new school and because of this we do not have a lot funding for materials but this does not stop us from creating authentic engaging units that follow the common core curriculum and the New Generation Science Standards. Your donation will help me create learning my students will never forget.
I believe in the power of LEGO but because I teach at a small school I need help bringing LEGO to my students…please provide us with the opportunity to build and grow with LEGO.