LEGO® Education’s new StoryStarter resources have been reviewed for Teach Primary magazine. John Dabell tried out the StoryStarter Core Set, which helps students work together to build stories with LEGO® bricks and figures, utilising the concept’s unique software to visualise and communicate their achievements.
Here’s what John Dabell said: “It’s like a pair of jump leads for the mind. This marvellous new tub of fun from that small town in Jutland is something quite special… It has everything to support a small group of pupils with building their own stories. Of course, the hardware is not the only star here; the innovative StoryVisualizer software that comes with it also shares centre stage.
“The kit works wonders in my opinion because children are attaching vocabulary to the pieces they select, inventing scenarios and making things happen whilst working collaboratively and sharing ideas. The obvious hands-on nature of LEGO means all children are involved and their literacy skills are being developed and polished every step of the way. Creating a small three-part story would in itself be enough, but the software is there to add extra impact as it enables children to document and present their stories in a written format.”
“As any primary practitioner will tell you, story writing is blinking hard graft with stacks of scaffolding, patience and creativity required by the bucket-load. All help is gratefully accepted, so thank you LEGO because StoryStarter is going to make a lot of teachers very happy. The canny combination of classic LEGO and the latest technology has the power to make waves. The physical LEGO models children create are the perfect aid to developing writing.”
He says the set is good value and his verdict is that it is “a creative storm”.
“Interest level – on the ceiling. Writing motivation – secured. Combined effect – awesome… This is playful and collaborative problem-solving at its best, and now I want to work for LEGO. StoryStarter has taken the USA by storm. We’re next.”
You can read the full review here.
StoryStarter comes to the UK in January and is available to pre-order now. You can try out the new StoryVisualizer software for free and enter a competition to win a Getting Started Set by visiting the LEGO Education website.
Two resources from LEGO® Education have scooped awards in recent expert reviews.
LEGO Education’s BuildToExpress Getting Started Set has won a Gold Award in the Primary Teacher Update Awards.
The set scored 95% and the testers said: “The children love LEGO® and couldn’t wait to try out this new product. They love the variety of the LEGO pieces in the box which resulted in many creations.
“The product helped develop sharing, turn-taking and imagination. They combined the new LEGO with larger bases and it was a great way to get some of our more reluctant boys to play imaginatively. The accompanying CD has many lesson plan ideas and useful videos.”
In the Practical PreSchool Awards, the LEGO Education Community Starter Set won a Silver Award.
The testers said: “The children enjoyed using the toy and loved the range of pieces. This is an excellent resource for a pre-school and the container is great for storage. There are endless play possibilities and the bright colours appeal to children.”
For more about both these products, visit the LEGO Education website.
If a band of LEGO® minifigures came to stay in your classroom and the children were asked to play host, what lessons could they learn asks Jonathan Brough in the latest issue of Teach Primary magazine.
Jonathan, headteacher at Hurlingham School in Putney, has developed a great project for primary school children using minifigures in a two week-long activity that provides a modern twist on Anne Fine’s Flour Babies.
At the start of the project, each child is given charge of a mystery guest (a minifigure still in its packaging) which they will go on to mentor and guide over a fortnight. The activities devised around these new additions to the class encompass Literacy and PSHE as well as other subject areas.
To read the article, click on the images below.
If you don’t have time to keep abreast of the latest news from the world of LEGO® Education on a school day, never fear! Here’s a handy round-up of our pick of the posts to peruse over the weekend.
French engineer Max Castéra has been bringing fun and learning to some of the poorest children in India, with a little help from LEGO® bricks. Max, founder of brickscientist.com recently returned from Delhi where he spent a week teaching science, culture and engineering in conjunction with Tara, a non-profit organisation providing residential services and education for children from some of India’s most vulnerable families. You can read more about Max’s trip and the activities he organised here.
Make primary school maths fun with the latest LEGO® Challenge in Teach Primary magazine which builds children’s confidence using a hands-on method. The ideas focus on how LEGO bricks and LEGO DUPLO® bricks can be used to bring maths activities to life, teaching the specific skills of counting, shape recognition, matching, incidental multiplication and division. Read more about the challenge here.
A grammar school in Northern Ireland has been running special Robot Days for pupils using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education.The Wallace High School in Lisburn, has staged two events so far this year for Year 9 pupils and another is planned in June. Read about the activities and hear from the organising teacher here.
And it was also announced this week that the next generation of LEGO MINDSTORMS Education, the EV3 platform, will start shipping on August 1. Find out more here.
If you’ve always wanted to know what space, engineering and LEGO have in common, watch the Google Science Fair Hangout on Air with Adrian Drake, who devises experiments for the International Space Station using LEGO bricks. Find out more here.
And don’t forget there are lots of other bright ideas to help with that lesson planning on our website and blog. Here are just some of them.
Have a good weekend!
Here’s a new LEGO® Challenge from the latest issue of Teach Primary magazine which builds children’s confidence in maths using a hands-on method that they’ll love.
These activities challenge teachers to do more with the boxes of LEGO® bricks and LEGO DUPLO® bricks that are often to be found in classrooms.
The ideas focus on how these bricks can be used to bring maths activities to life, teaching the specific skills of counting, shape recognition, matching, incidental multiplication and division.
The activities are taken from ‘Back to Basics with Bricks’ written by LEGO Education partner, Hands On Tech.
The book contains 100 different activities across literacy, maths and PHSE. For more information or to buy the book, visit www.handsontech.co.za
This LEGO Challenge is just one of a series of challenges from LEGO® Education Academy Master Trainer Rob Widger. For the Gina the giraffe challenge, click here. For the stadium building challenge, click here. For the character building challenge, click here.
For more about Teach Primary, visit the website.
Here’s a new LEGO® Challenge created by LEGO® Education Training Manager Rob Widger which you can find in the latest issue of Teach Primary magazine.
In this challenge, students undertake a series of building activities based on a fiction book they have just finished reading.
The children are asked to think about the main characters in the book and to build a model representing their thoughts which they then have to explain to the group. They also get the chance to consider what could have happened next in their book, and to build their ideas.
The challenge encourages lots of discussion and will take their understanding of character and plot to a new level.
To see the challenge in detail click on the image. For Rob Widger’s Gina the giraffe challenge, click here. For his stadium building challenge, click here.
For more about Teach Primary, visit the website.
Could you create an animal pen made from LEGO bricks for Gina the giraffe so that she can take her medicine? That’s the latest challenge from LEGO® Education Training Manager Rob Widger in Teach Primary magazine.
This LEGO® Challenge invites children to work in a group to build a model out of LEGO® DUPLO® that will allow the vet to climb up and administer medicine to Gina who has a sore throat. The design has to be safe for the vet and Gina.
The children are encouraged to discuss their ideas before they start building. Then while they work, ask them if their design will be safe for the vet and the animal?
The challenge could be developed by setting up a shop in the class where pupils can ‘buy’ their bricks with play money, thus bringing an additional element of numeracy into the task.
When they have finished, the children can share their creations with the rest of the class, providing the opportunity for creative story telling and writing.
To see the challenge in detail click on the image. for Rob Widger’s Olympic Stadium LEGO Challenge, click here. For more about Teach Primary, visit the website.
The first independent review of LEGO® Education’s new BuildToExpress set appears in the October edition of Teach Primary magazine. The review has been carried out by Jonathan Lear, a Deputy Head in Sheffield and former Teaching Award winner. Here’s what he has to say about this resource:
“This product is genius. Sometimes reviewing new stuff can be a bit dull, and the times when you see something genuinely different are few and far between. LEGO Education BuildToExpress, however, is unlike anything I’ve seen before, and should be bought by every school in the country. Immediately.
“Verdict: Builds Creativity. Beyond foundation stage, opportunities for our children to develop their natural creativity and curiosity are sadly outnumbered by more convergent learning experiences.
“BuildToExpress is a great way of shoe-horning this kind of learning back into our curriculum. The high value it places on children’s thoughts and ideas reminds me a little bit of Philosophy for Children, only with more plastic. Buy and enjoy.”
To read the full review online at Teach Primary please click on this link.
Each BuildToExpress set includes over 200 LEGO elements in a separate storage unit. They have been carefully selected to provide a broad spectrum of “ready-made metaphors”. The colorful bricks, accessories and minifigures inspire students and stimulate their creative thinking and imagination.
Win a BuildToExpress classroom set for your school!
If you would like to experience BuildToExpress at your school why not get involved in our competition? To find out more click here or to order your free competition pack click here.
Don’t miss the first LEGO® Education Challenge featured in this month’s Teach Primary magazine. It challenges primary school children to build a stadium using LEGO® bricks and finding the cheapest possible design.
The challenge is fantastic for helping students to develop their problem-solving skills as well as enhancing their maths and design ability. Pupils not only have to find the best and safest design for their stadium, but also have to consider the cost – as in real projects, every brick costs money!
There is even a free challenge card available on line. If you fancy having a go with your class, you can download the article from Teach Primary here.
Happy building and why not let us know how you get on?
Discover how to deliver an engaging hands-on learning experience with LEGO® Education throughout your primary curriculum. We believe in a facilitation approach to teaching to allow students a more active role in their learning. Our Academy courses provide hands-on experience through practical workshops and offer ways to maximise the management of classroom resources.
LEGO® Education WeDoTM
Subjects: Science, Maths, Technology, ICT, Literacy
In this course we will explore in detail LEGO Education WeDo. We will use the models as a basis for both verbal and written communication, production and dramatisation of stories, visual and sound effects, and look at how to use technology to create and disseminate ideas, including the use of sensors to control a model. Throughout, we will discuss the academic content and relevance in subject areas within primary schools.
Subjects: Language, Literacy, Humanities, PSHE, Maths
Build your way to better communication! Focus on the theoretical and practical aspects of the BuildToExpress concept. BuildToExpress is a genuinely creative teaching aid that enables all your students to communicate as equals, in an inclusive, non-judgemental and highly-motivational environment. Everyone gets involved and takes an active role in the learning process transforming you, the teacher, into a true hands-on facilitator. This course is designed to optimise your skills as a facilitator of the BuildToExpress process.
Click here or contact us on 0800 334 5346 for more information about LEGO Education Academy courses.