Thursday, July 31, 2014

Listening with Legos

image of Lego pieces in cups
The first days of school are filled with introductions, rules and procedures - a great opportunity to teach offline with Legos!

There are only two rules in my computer lab. Rule 1: Do What's Right. We talked about how the Bible tells us the difference between right and wrong. We came up with examples how stealing, defacing property, or abusing equipment is wrong. It's good to remember that we are stewards of the school's equipment and need to treat it with respect.

Rule 2: Listen to Others. Many times in computer class I am giving students detailed instructions that must be followed in the correct sequence. That's just the nature of machines. But it's also important to listen to each other. Sometimes students have the same question but failed to hear their friends ask. and so we practiced listening with Legos.

Every student has a cup with five Lego pieces. I then give them explicit instructions to build a little bird. We then repeat the process with various distractions or obstacles to their listening such as only visual instructions. Upper elementary and middle school students even had to instruct another student how to build something with their eyes closed. Of course with an entire class shouting out instructions, that too becomes an obstacle to effective listening!

If we had extra time, I turned it into a game (stress of competition really rattles communication)! One partner would have about 15 seconds to see a pre-built model then go back and instruct their partner on how to make it. First team with the correct copy wins.