A quick lego hack to save a few dollars

I always like the idea of taking something and hacking it into another and as you may know I am a Lego geek. After playing with lego gears and motors from the WeDo set I cam across the video below and it looked like a pretty fun way to try and create something new for a virtually no price.

Small gearTake a 50cent motor from your electronics resources, a peg to star technic connector, a small gear and a hot glue gun and a AA power source. Glue the peg to the drive shaft of the motor and make sure that it sets straight. Wait five minutes and you have a mIMG_0218otor. Now the motor is very simple and a bit too powerful, but I am sure that with a bit of gearing down you can make it work quite nicely.

It is as good as a store bought motor? No, but it is always a lot more fun and rewarding when you make it yourself.

Watch the video below and give it a go or show your class and let them have a go ūüôā


Toy Hack – Sharing Understanding through Toys

My initial use of Lego to reflect on my time with Kath.
My initial use of Lego to reflect on my time with Kath.

While still processing my time with Kath Murdoch over the last two days I have jumped on something that I found quite appealing to my geek side and surprise surprise it appealed to the boys and girls in my class.  Using an iPad, toys and a cartooning App to explain understanding.  The App was called Text Here (it really is called Text Here, that is not a cut and paste error), the toy was Lego and the understanding was our playground strategy called W.I.T.S (Walk Away, Ignore, Tell Someone, Say and I Statement).

One thing I did take into account is Guy Claxton’s Split Screen thinking model, which is something that I have taken away from my time with¬†Kath Murdoch. In the Split Screen class¬†the the process is equally as important as the content and skill. ¬†The content being explaining WITS in a Visual way, skills were time management and co-operative and the process revolved around collaboration with their partner,¬†synthesizing¬†their ideas into a very text limited form and then taking a risk when sharing with the rest of the class. Each of these skills and processes were given as much scaffolding and exploration as was the process of using the tool which was the iPad App.

Then I showed them my reflection from Kath’s first day, set up a corner and in pairs I let them free to play and create.

Stage set up in a cave with lamp to set the scene.
Stage set up in a cave with lamp to set the scene.
WITS - Say an I Statement
WITS – Say an I Statement
WITS - TEll a Teacher.
WITS – TEll a Teacher.

Big thank you to Bart Miller for the Toy Hack title – loving the Hack mentality of turning an items use to a very different purpose.