I have the best job. Ever. Just putting that out there now.
Today, with my little mini STEM group, we just sat and played with LEGO for an hour and half. I tipped out the whole box on my floor and we played, talked, and created together. Absolute bliss.
There was obviously some learning taking place though. Secret learning that the kids didn’t even know about! Dotted around the room in various places were little challenge cards, that the kids could take and follow at will. The cards short, small tasks for the children to build using the bricks. I found them on a fabulous website for all things STEM, The STEM Laboratory. They are free to download, and they have all sorts of other amazing bits and pieces on the site too. I can see myself download a lot more from them!
The challenges are all quick builds, and easy to complete. The pupils really engaged with them and they started to bring out their inner Master Builder. From the get go you could see the creativity, problem solving and tinkering in everything they were doing. The talk was great too. Loads of questions between peers as well as some to me, but the answer generally was ‘go work it out for yourself’. How could I do that? What shape would be best? How many blocks do you think I’ll need? Really cool for a school that encourages talk all the time!
As you can tell by the rambling nature of this blog I really enjoyed it, and wanted to share! I don’t think our pupils get enough time to play, create and explore in school any more. Play was the key word there, they were learning through the act of play, even at year 5. To begin with I could see the pupils looking and craving for me to guide them more, or give them more concrete feedback about their builds. But as time went by they started to get that there was no right answer for each card, and they could build and create in any way they thought best. It was really liberating to see them change like that in just a short space of time!
So upon reflection, for the best teaching hour of your life, just throw a load of LEGO bricks in to the middle of the room!
For more pictures please click here!