10 Top Classroom Management Tips For WeDo 2.0
By Craig Rulton
From Opening the Box to Packing Down at the End of the Lesson
You are about to open up your newly delivered WeDo 2.0 Core Sets for the first time. You are clearly excited about the limitless teaching and learning possibilities your new resources are going to help you create. You open the lid of your first box to find the empty sorting tray. Underneath, sealed plastic bags contain 280 LEGO® Building Elements, as well as your low energy Bluetooth Smarthub and tilt and motion sensors. Suddenly, the scary reality of what a WeDo 2.0 lesson could look like, creeps into your mind... LEGO® bricks all over the floor and countless pieces getting lost in the various nooks and crannies of your Primary school classroom! Before you know it, you’re putting the box back in the cupboard and asking yourself, “how can I manage my classroom to ensure my pupils get the greatest learning experience possible?”
Before You Invest
Even before you order your new WeDo 2.0 sets, you need to ensure you are fully aware of two things:
1. The System requirements: do you have devices capable of running the WeDo 2.0 programming software?
2. The Software and resources: have you explored the freely available software, curriculum materials and teaching resources?
The Initial Setup
Why not ask your Digital Leaders to define and document the ‘Expectations’ around how the WeDo 2.0 sets should be unpacked and repacked at the start and end of lessons? They could produce a poster that goes in display within your classrooms or learning spaces. If your school
Label Your Core Sets and Smart Hubs
Most schools get into the habit of labelling or numbering their resources so they may be easily identified and organised. I see this a lot with sets of iPads being numbered to indicate what class or pupil they belong to. It is especially important and beneficial to do the same with your WeDo 2.0 sets and Smarthubs.
To put this into context we recently observed a lesson with a class of Year 4s using some brand new WeDo 2.0 sets and a class set of iPad Minis with the WeDo 2.0 app installed. Each of the 15 sets had been perfectly prepared in terms of the organisation of the sorting tray. However, one aspect that had been overlooked was the Smarthub. Every Smarthub comes new out the box with exactly the same name, therefore when the pupils attempted to connect their Smarthub to their iPad, they found it very difficult to identify which one belonged to them.
So with that in mind, we believe it is important to ensure you rename each Smarthub and ideally do so so that it correlates with a label/name you add to your WeDo 2.0 box. For example we have 15 sets of WeDo 2.0 and I have labeled each box JTRS 1 through to JTRS 15. The Smarthub contained within each box is then named so that it matches the box it belongs to. This then ensures it is easy for the kids to identify and connect to their Smarthub.
In The Classroom...
So now you have your WeDo 2.0 Core Sets organised and your Smarthubs renamed, let’s quickly move onto our 10 Top Tips for managing WeDo 2.0 in the classroom.
As much as you try to avoid it, LEGO® bricks can and will be dropped onto the floor. The main thing is that these pieces get found and put somewhere so you can then organise them later. This is where the ‘Lost & Found’ box comes in. Ultimately this is a box or container that sits at the front of the classroom. Pupils should know, as in the expectations you set out, that if they find a piece on the floor and it doesn’t belong to them they should put it into the ‘Lost & Found’ box. This then also becomes the first place that pupils look when they cannot find a piece in their own box.
We touched on this as a crucial part of the initial setup of your WeDo 2.0 Core sets but it is important to reinforce the expectations in every lesson. If pupils know how to look after your WeDo 2.0 sets, they will.
Below I have provided examples of the expectations we use when delivering lessons
All pieces must go back in exactly the same space in the sorting tray as you found them - use the diagram to help you.
Try your very best not to drop pieces - if you do pick them up as quick as you can
Only remove pieces from the sorting tray if you are using them If you find a piece on the floor and it does not belong to you, put it into the ‘Lost & Found’
In conclusion, if you ensure you get your initial setup right and apply these Top Tips in the classroom, you will get off to a flying start with WeDo 2.0 and ensure that you and your pupils get the best possible learning experience. Other benefits from all of this will include the essential everyday life skills you will