Launch the Engage Section
ACTS is what the teacher will do and ASKS is how the teacher will facilitate.
Getting the Students Ready to Build
Do you think we could build something with our VEX GO Kit to help us see fractions?
We are going to build something with two equal sides, so that we can see whether fractions are equivalent or not.
Facilitate the Build
students to join their teams, and have them complete the Robotics Roles & Routines sheet. Use the Suggested Role Responsibilities slide in the Lab Image Slideshow as a guide for students to complete this sheet.
Tell them that they are going to construct a double sided box to help them mix and match fractions using the VEX GO pieces.
build instructions to each team.
Tell students that they are only building the box right now. Students should build Steps 1-9, and stop there. Journalists should gather the materials on the checklist.
the building process.
- Builders can begin building.
- Journalists should assist with build instructions as needed.
- Help students think about how the build is coming together with questions like:
- Why do you think the pieces are still moveable in the first few steps?
- Why do you think the connectors are used this way to make walls?
- What do you notice about the spaces inside the boxes?
suggestions and note positive team building.
Highlight successful problem solving strategies as teams build together as well.
- Keep an Eye Out - Remind students to look for the eye indicators in the Build Instructions, as they note places where the orientation of pieces is important in a successful build. If students are having trouble with things fitting together properly, first ask if their pieces are lined up correctly, and if they match the build instruction images. Checking this for each step can help prevent frustration at later points in the build.
- “Extra” Pieces - Many of the beams and plates in the materials checklist are used for the Play portions of the lab, and will not be used in the initial build during the Engage portion. If students note that they have “extra” parts, remind them that it is ok, and that they have not completed the whole build or activities yet. They’re just building the base at this point.
- Encourage Thoughtful Building in the Whole Group - As students are building, ask questions about the process to help them think about why pieces are going together in this particular way. For instance, question about why the connectors are used instead of beams for the side walls, or what helps the build stop being movable, enable students in all roles to be engaged in the building process.
- Think Outside the Box - If individuals are struggling to make sense of the part/whole connection, but the rest of the group is moving ahead, encourage the individual student to layer beams and plates outside the build, on their own graph paper, to help make the connection tangible. Start with a large white plate, and trace that on the graph paper. Then fit smaller beams and plates into the drawn rectangle, like a puzzle, as many times as necessary to make the connection clear for that student.
- Use the Get Ready...Get VEX...GO! PDF Book and Teacher’s Guide - If students are new to VEX GO, read the PDF book and use the prompts in the Teacher’s Guide to facilitate an introduction to building and using VEX GO before beginning the Lab activities. Students can join their groups and gather their VEX GO Kits, and follow along with the building activity within the book as you read.
- Use the Teacher’s Guide to facilitate student engagement. To focus on VEX GO connections in a more concrete or tangible way, use the Share, Show, or Find prompts on each page to give students an opportunity to get to know their kits in more depth.
- To focus on the habits of mind that support building and learning with VEX GO, like persistence, patience, and teamwork, use the Think prompts on each page to engage students in conversations about mindset and strategies to support successful group work and creative thinking.
- To learn more about using the PDF book and accompanying Teacher’s Guide as a teaching tool any time you are using VEX GO in your classroom, see this VEX Library article.