At the start of the year, it is all about getting to know your new class. The children go through initial assessments in reading, writing, maths, art and all the other subjects. We also want our children to leave school at the end of the day having had fun. This year we looked at how we could add a bit of fun to some of our assessments,
A key area of development for us is developing teamwork skills, as well as independence and initiative. In the past, whilst we were teaching the skills of how to work in the team, we offered theoretical problems as well as classics such as building bridges with newspaper. So, this year, we looked at spicing them up.
Lego. I love Lego. The kids love Lego. It is easy to put together and easy to pick up. And, of course, I love Lego. After a visit to the Manchester Lego Discovery Centre, where my family and I played with the Duplo tower activity, my colleagues and I set up problem number one. How high can you build a Lego tower? The joy of this activity is that you can clearly highlight a design and evaluation stage.
Problem number two was slightly more complicated. As part of our curriculum we film a Shakespeare play, so I wanted to assess how well children were able to orient themselves around a camera shot and storyboard. In order to do this, I set up the challenge of making a film, with sound, using two Lego figures (from the Lego Minifigures range) and two sheets of paper as well as anything they had in their pencil case. The children had two hours to complete this. To add an extra challenge, I gave the children specific film genres to work with, from Romance to Science Fiction.
By the end of the morning, all the children had completed their films. We had the scary 'Demon Skateboard' as well as a beautiful romance between Disco Girl and the Chef. Most importantly, I could see how well the groups worked together, as well as their proficiency with the software and the cameras.
Image credit: http://www.brandsoftheworld.com/logo/lego-0
Now I can move forward with the shot types I want to teach, the software we need to work on and the team skills I need to focus on. I also got to play with Lego.