Image Map

April 16, 2021

Brain Flakes - STEM and Participation Tool

Do you know about Brain Flakes? I learned about them a couple of years ago. Kind of like Legos met a pinwheel. But the best part is that they don’t hurt if you accidentally step on them. My own kids absolutely have loved them to create, and it’s been a Fun Friday/ rainy day option in my classroom too. I got mine from a Donors Choose project, then bought another one for at home. 

Disclaimer - this isn't an ad, I'm not getting any money from them. 

When we started hybrid I had put some linking cubes in each of their desk pouches to use for volume, and that led to looking around the classroom for other items that could be used for random purposes. My in class kids have become the leaders in our daily break out groups. It has made it a little more fun for in class kids that have to stay at their desks for longer times throughout the day. 

Every day, my in class logs into our team meeting to chat directly with our at home kids. Yes, we can hear the kids at home and in class while altogether, but when kids are in smaller groups they open up so much more. They participate so much more. So headphones on...

During our DL weeks I would give my class 10 minutes during math or another subject to have break out groups. They would do some independent work together or answer questions for me. I would hop through the different groups to listen in. 

Now that kids are in class, I wanted a visual that I can see that shows the communication in the groups. So I pulled out the Brain Flakes. 

Each in class person has 2 of each color that they keep in their pouch. When the groups first meet up in their break out group, they make a quick plan as to who is going to be each color. They type it into the chat. Then as the groups are talking, the person in class uses those colors to build their own design. Person 1 may be blue, and when she talks, the in class kid puts a blue on the design. Then person 2 might be yellow, and that color gets added when they share. Person 3 is red, and person 4 is orange. The goal is for each design to have all the colors. 

Since they are building in front of their camera, we have the buy in from the kids at home. Most kids want to get their color on the design. It’s also a lesson as to who is hogging the conversation. 

Anyhow, if I didn’t have Brain Flakes I would probably pull back out the linking blocks to show participation. 

Hope you had a great day! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I hope this was able to help you in some way. I love comments and I like to reply via email. Please make sure your profile is set up with your email address (and that it's not a Have a great day!