Students in Tina Regier’s classroom at Briarwood Elementary School have been on their best behavior. Recently, the second-graders and teacher found a unique way this week to celebrate the positive environment they have built together.
As a reward for demonstrating positive behaviors throughout the school, Regier asks her students to vote on a theme day. Having earned their reward, students voted that they wanted a day of learning to be centered around a LEGO theme.
LEGOs weren’t just used for building projects on this reward day. The colorful bricks were incorporated in reading, language arts, and math lessons.
While studying math, students used LEGO manipulatives to “act out” math problems. “Act out” is a term Regier uses when students use physical items, so they can visualize and better understand math problems. LEGO bricks were used to create repetitive patterns and to build number-related vocabulary words.
While studying language arts, students wrote stories with a topic sentence, three details, and a conclusion. The theme-day lesson was completed on a sheet depicting LEGO blocks.
On student-made thank-you cards, students wrote notes to parents who donated items to contribute to LEGO day activities. The notes were written to include the topic and paragraph structure students are learning about in language arts studies.
LEGOS were also used as students practiced problem-solving, teamwork, and critical thinking activities throughout the school day. Teams of students put together individual mystery puzzles with LEGO bricks. Once their section of the puzzle was complete, the class put all their squares together to reveal the picture.
“The students have worked really hard for more than five weeks to earn this reward day,” Regier said. “While I want them to have fun on theme day, our activities are still all about the curriculum.”
The collaborative effort of working toward theme day has helped the class understand classroom expectations and work together to meet them.
“If we are quiet in the hallway and receive a compliment or if everyone is quiet during one-minute reading time, we can get a star for our class Bingo card,” Charlie Harris, second-grader said.
The team-effort also contributes to a positive classroom climate and tie directly to schoolwide expectations.
“Good behavior includes being kind or safe or respectful,” Dylan Barter, second-grader said.
Regier also presented each student with a gift to remember the occasion and to use as they continue learning . Each student received a squishy LEGO block. This can be used as they incorporate “calm classroom” practices.