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Sunday, November 13, 2011

IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL....


LEARN!

Lego Education is coming to Maury Think Tank. The boxes of materials will roll in on the UPS truck tomorrow and by the week of November 21st, students in all grades will be exploring the fascinating world of physical science, specifically simple machines. These lessons are aligned with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) standards which will allow our children to get actively involved in this area of academics. It is likely that this unit will be very popular with students (and families!) and given the multiple ways this can be implemented, this unit will take us into the New Year!

Here is a sneak peak into what you can expect....

    PRESCHOOL -1st GRADE EARLY SIMPLE MACHINES
PreSchool through 1st grade students will be exploring basic mechanical principles such as gears, levers, pulleys, wheels and axles using the Lego Early Simple Machines Set. This set uses Duplo blocks.


                                        2nd- 5th GRADE SIMPLE MACHINES


 2nd-5th grade students will be using the Elementary Simple Machines Set. Although this set spans a wide age-range, the lessons will vary according to the National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards. This set will utilize regular Lego bricks.


                  5th GRADE STUDENTS MOTORIZED MACHINES


5th Grade students will also build and explore machines and mechanisms, investigate motorized machines, calibrate and capture wind, and study gearing mechanisms. 

In addition, 13 2nd graders are participating in the pilot year of the Jr. First Lego League, a club for 6-9 year olds. They are completing the "Snack Attack!" challenge along with thousands of other students their ages around the world. Stay tuned for updates on their work, as well as any fundraisers or events.

How can you help support this Lego -based initiative?

* Find or purchase Lego or Duplo bricks! Although we have the sets coming, we can use many, more Lego or Duplo bricks and people. Feeling generous? You can purchase them in bulk from here!

*Volunteer during Think Tank or lend your STEM expertise to me as I plan upcoming units.

* Use this blog in the coming months to connect physical science concepts to your at-home Lego play.


ONE FINAL PLEA....
Ms. Nesper is conducting a very interesting research study that needs YOU! Please take 15 minutes to complete her survey HERE!


Until next time....
-Mrs. Ford


Sunday, November 6, 2011

In Honor of Anthony...


Anthony loved Think Tank. Although I only knew him a few short months, he visited the Learning Lab almost daily after school to connect about the current topic. Origami was one of his favorites. On Friday of last week he came to the Learning Lab and asked for more origami paper to make an Origami frog. This is a model he'd been trying to figure out for a while. He'd mastered so many of the other folds!

If you are looking for a way to talk with your child about this awful loss, or would like a way to share your support with the Vindel family, please consider making an Origami frog, or an Origami crane ( a symbol of peace) and bring them to my office. I will ensure that his family receives them.



Until next time....
-Mrs. Ford