Sunday, October 20, 2013

Jensen's STEM Project

     Last week I walked past Cindy Jensen's classroom and noticed her students working with Lego pieces so I stopped in to check out the situation.
     Cindy explained she has been involved with a STEM grant which is an intense program that involved 2 days of training last spring, 8 days of classes this past summer, an online book study, and development of a unit that uses the Engineering Design Process in our classrooms.  Linda Mrazik (I will highlight next week) and her were chosen to participate, along with 28 other K-12 teachers.  The technology is to be integrated throughout the classroom.  Some of the technology that was given is for their personal and professional use was; an iPad, iTunes cards, video camera, and tripod.  
     Cindy and Linda were given $800 to spend in our classrooms.  Cindy chose to buy 22 BuildtoExpress lego kits.  BuildToExpress is a method to facilitate and develop the skills needed for constructive, creative,and developmental processes of reflection and communication.

Four elements make up the core of the BuildtoExpress method:
  1.  Students use LEGO bricks to build models to represent their thoughts and reflections.
  2.  Students share their stories about their LEGO models and their meanings.
  3.  The BuildToExpress process follows a structure and certain rules.
  4.  Process facilitation is used throughout the process - the facilitator is the key to the process and its success.
   Cindy used the BuildToExpress method during the Dating Violence unit.  Some of the "builds" that students did were "Build a Model Representing a Healthy Relationship" and "Build a Model Representing an Important Scene from the movie "No One Would Tell".  Students shared their models and reflections and also did a related writing assignment.  Cindy noticed how students liked to think with their "hands" and listen with their "eyes" as classmates shared. 
Great Job Cindy!

No comments:

Post a Comment