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Hi everyone! My name is Noelle and I am a Special Education teacher (self-contained, grades 3, 4, and 5!) After graduating, I started teaching Kindergarten!!! I had only applied to sub when I was called in for an interview! The following school year I moved schools and changed grade levels. I absolutely love where I am now and what I am doing!

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

LEGOLAND Discovery Center: Boston!

It has been over a month (a very difficult month for me) since I last blogged.  Why not start blogging again with a review of a trip to LEGOLAND Discovery Center: Boston!  

Upon arriving, you are greeted by a life size LEGO Giraffe!

I received an e-mail inviting me to LEGOLAND on Wednesday, October 14.  LEGOLAND was going to be offering an open house for educators to come by the center and check out workshops that are being offered.  After reading the e-mail, I was intrigued.  This seemed like something I could absolutely use in the classroom.  The workshops, designed specifically for students, offer a variety of topics ranging from storytelling to science to engineering to design to math and to language arts!!  The workshops also were developed to address Common Core Standards. Wow! These workshops take place at the center during a field trip, but can be used in the classroom as well!

When you first entered the center, you went straight into MINILAND, which is the Lego city of Boston.  I was in awe of how intricate these Lego buildings were.

Logan Airport and Boston Harbor Hotel

Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium

The State House and "Make Way For Ducklings"

The Garden and The Boston Marathon Finish Line

While at the open house, they had five workshops on display with helpful staff to go explain the workshops as you walked through. The workshops were created for students in Pre-K through grade six.

The workshops are as followed: Spinning Tops (Pre-K to First), Seasons (Pre-K to First), Spin the Gears (Grades Two and Three), Merry-Go-Round (Grades Four to Six), and What a Great Experience! (Grades Two to Six).  Each workshop brought something different to the table. 

Here's a little synopsis of each workshop:

Spinning Tops:
This workshop addresses English, Language Arts and Reading, and Math CCSS.  Spinning Tops focuses on engineering, design, and math. The children create and build tops.  They are able to collect data on whose top spins the longest.  They are able to learn about forces that affect the performance of the top.

This workshop addresses English, Language Arts and Reading, and Science CCSS.  Seasons focuses on science and speaking and listening.  This workshop teaches about seasons in a hands on way.  Students build and share what they know about the current season.  THis leads to a discussion about weather/weather changes.

Spin the Gears:
This workshop addresses English, Language Arts and Reading, Math, and Science CCSS. Spin the Gears focuses on engineering, design, and math. Students build, model, and experiment with gears.  They explore the difference between drive versus driven as well as clockwise versus counterclockwise.  Force and effort are also touched upon.

This workshop addresses English, Language Arts and Reading, Math, and Science CCSS.  Merry-Go-Round focuses on engineering, design, and math.  In this workshop, students are able to create their own Merry-Go-Round.  They explore gear ratios and experiment with gear trains.  They look to find which spins fastest.

What a Great Experience!:
This workshop addresses English and Language Arts and Reading CCSS.  What a Great Experience! focuses on English Language Arts.  Students are able to build with LEGO bricks to tell a story about an experience they've had in their city.  They are able to use MINILAND as inspiration.  They create characters, a setting, and a plot.

All of these workshops have printout to use in the classroom before, during, and after the workshop.  They can be found easily on the LEGOLAND website!

After exploring these wonderful student workshops, we were able to roam around the center.  There are two rides that students can go on as well as a Ninja Training Course! Children can build cars and race them down different slopes.  There's an earthquake table where students can build skyscrapers to see if they can withstand an earthquake!  They can also climb through a construction site!  There's even a 4D Cinema!

Here are a few pictures from exploring LEGOLAND!:

Becoming Ninjas!

Meeting a new friend!

It's crazy what can be made from LEGO bricks!

Thank you LEGOLAND Discovery Center: Boston for such a wonderful experience! I can't wait to use LEGO bricks more often in my classroom!  I am really excited to share this experience with my students and hope that one day a field trip to a workshop can be made into a reality!