Lesson Overview: Students will go through the Delux Kit and Synth Kits to identify and learn about every piece of the kits
Note: This lesson is essential for helping students understand what is in these kits, what they do and what their role is. It is also important for students to know the value of replacement of these items as it gives them an idea of ownership and helps them be more responsible. I also like this lesson to start with as it helps students understand what should be in each kit. This is really important when students are sharing kits amoung different classes
Lesson Objectives: Students will work together in teams to explore the kits, learn about each part and how they work together. Students will also develop ownership and responsibility for their equipment
Assessment Strategies: The use of formative assessment here is key, checking in for understanding especially when making the curcuits.
Question that can be asked: Why does the output need to be attached last? What is the importance of the BLUE pieces? What is the job of the PINK colored pieces?
It is great to get students to use check lists or a simple rubric to help guide them. These kits are ‘magical’ and once students dive in they can get very easily distracted in ‘experiementing’ with all the pieces. Depending on your students you might want to give them some time in the beginning to just explore beforehand. With my students I give them time after finding and identifying all the pieces but use your judgement: you know your students best!
Students who demonstrate understanding can:
Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents.
Elementary (ages 8-10)
STEP 1 : Get them ENGAGED
To enage students I use the LittleBit site and show a variety of videos showing how the kits are used. Get them engaged and excited to jump into the kits and explore. This is a grea time to just let them ask as many questions as possible. Warning: don’t give away too much just enough to get them excited. Note: make sure that you personally have gone through each of the curcuits. Explore before you let your students explore as you will find very quickly where they might have struggles so that you are prepared to answer questions. This is really important. If you go throught the assignment you will quickly learn all the things that students might come up against. You will also see how quickly you can get lost in the kits and start playing. Knowing this ahead of time with help you gage what your students will be able to do and how focused they will be when exploring.
STEP 2 : The Process is KEY
Pull the kits out and demonstrate what they will be doing. The check lists attached are to get them engaged but to also help them explore the kits and get to know what each piece does. Show them how to attach the pieces. It is important as first time users that they know that these pieces are pretty sturdy but can be broken. 1. The list also asked them to explore replacement cost, this will help them realize the importance of taking care of their kits 2. I number the kits and each team is assigned a kit. They are responsible for taking care of the kits and the bits. Because I usually have multiple classes each team is responsible to report back if a kit is not returned properly. 3. It is important that students understand that each bit has a place in the box. 4. Some students are going to ask to take these kits to the floor, I advise that they work only on a flat surface: table, desk. Carpet is NOT your friend here. 5. Speaker: make sure they understand that the speaker must be attached to its Velcro stripe to prevent the wires from breaking.
STEP 3 : The EXPLORE
This is a student driven explore so that they can use the kits to figure out what is possible. I encourage the teams to attach each bit to a power source to see if it will work. They will, hopefully, soon discover that each circuit needs multiple pieces to work, especially the speaker. 1. Make sure you talk about responsibilities in the group and the importance of taking turns. I always talk with my teams and have them come up with ways to make the work equitable and fair. 2. As a class have them come up with the system to make sure everyone is involved and everyone gets a turn. These pieces are on the smaller side so it is easy for students to try and take over 3. You might consider having students actually model what it will look like when working together and taking turns
STEP 4 : Keeping them on TRACK!
I let them work on one kit at a time and I do not give them the circuit list until they have finished identifying each bit in the box. Once they have had time to explore the list of circuits it is really important to give them time to explore the endless possibilities to circuit that they can produce. One of the things I quickly learned is to not let them start to put together circuits until all the pieces have been found and identified. I originally had the work sheets are double sided and my students immediately went to the circuit side and started putting things together before really knowing what the job is for each piece.
STEP 5 : Pulling it ALL together!
The close can happen in a couple of way. You can bring the group back together and have a class talk. You may want to have them write a reflection. Things to ask: what was the most successful part of their work together / what was the most challenging part of their team work? Things they could write about: What are the components of a complete circuit? What happens to a circuit if one part is removed? What happens if there are too many components? You can also have them do a mechincal drawing of one of the curcuits and label all the parts explaining what each piece does. Have them write about the standard: 4-PS3-2 Energy Students who demonstrate understanding can: 4-PS3-2. Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents. Explain how energy goes from the power source to the speaker to produce an outcome. Use examples from your exploration. Include a scientific illustration of your explaination.