Tuesday, 21 October 2014

LegoLand Trip Review

Last Thursday we took our Grade 6 students to LegoLand Windsor for two workshops.
We unfortunately spent most of the day traveling, as we had cancelled trains, long waits for buses and connecting trains (apart from one very quick change where we all had to run around Slough station!)

We arrived a little late for our first workshop so had to complete is quickly.  The instructor showed us a presentation about different types of fish and habitats and we discussed how the various adaptations, from pattern to shape. Students then made their own fish and presented them to the class.
The workshop was far to easy for our students and probably just for KS2 students. I thought that because the workshop was for KS1, KS2 and KS3 that there would be differentiation to make sure the work was at the appropriate level. At the end of the class the students presented their fish, but were not prompted to talk about how it was adapted for a certain environment. It would have been nice to tie this part into what they had learnt or to have a class game - maybe one where the teacher put different habitats on the board and students had to sit down if their fish wouldn't survive there! I think Legoland missed out on making this really educational, but gave our science teacher ideas for adapting and improving this lesson for her students. The students also really enjoyed the lesson, which is always important! After half-term we can reflect on the trip and get students to analyse their fish in more detail!

Our second session was a bit more useful and related well to the coding students had been doing with me. Our instructor was very good at one on one support with our students but the introduction and explanation needed a bit of work. She asked several closed questions, so students didn't want to answer. If she has asked a really open question to begin, like 'What do you know about coding' then they would have had tons to say and she would have had an understanding of their knowledge/levels.
However this session was still a lot of fun. Students had to build their Lego Lion, then program it to stand up, roar and then sit down again. Many of the computers didn't have speakers, so students were a little disappointed about that, (they wanted to check out all the sound effects to make the lion not only roar, but squeak and beep). The extension task allowed students to get their lions to dance! This was really fun and students had to think about accuracy, so that their lion didn't decapitate itself/shake its own head off!

Ms McDonald and Ms Zago completing the task!

At the end of the session we got a little medal and a certificate. We also had a chance to go on the shop ride and got to go to the shop...where I bought way to much (gold Lego Brick keyring, Lego Halloween Set, Lego Pig Man Mini-figure and the amazing Lego Research Institute)

I also met this creepy Lego Brick

(I have been wanting this set for a while - will use it for my Lego Advertising and Gender Unit - online it's almost £50, but was only £15.99 at LegoLand)

The students had a lot of fun and I would do the trip again, but would spend the full day at LegoLand and would arrange a coach for travel. It would also be good to have more communication between the workshop leaders before hand and would be even better if they provided some exercises/worksheets/presentations/videos to use before you visit and some for after. I also recommend that they differentiate the sessions more, as they were far too easy.