Applying VEX GO
Connection to VEX GO
VEX GO Kits allow students to get a hands on experience with the frog life cycle without actual frogs. Students are asked during this Unit to observe how organisms interact with their environment and how organisms, like frogs, adapt to their environment. In the first Lab of the Unit, students build a habitat for their frog before building the tadpole and tadpole with legs. While they construct their habitat, students must consider what environment elements a frog needs to thrive. In the second Lab, students continue to modify their habitats to reflect the changing needs of their frog as they build the next two stages of the life cycle: the froglet and the adult frog.
The Fun Frogs Unit also allows students to practice spatial reasoning skills. While building the tadpole and tadpole with legs, the students are asked to explain how pieces of the build work in relation to other pieces. Students can also be asked questions such as, “How are the head and tail oriented? What does this image in the build instructions tell you to do? How do you know?” Because there are four smaller builds in the Unit along with habitats, students will have ample practice using VEX GO pieces and talking about how they work and interact with one another in a build.
Teaching with Building
Throughout this Unit, students will be engaged with different engineering, building or inquiry-based learning concepts. The Labs within this unit will follow a similar format:
- Teachers will help students make a personal connection to the concepts that will be taught in the Lab.
- Students will complete a VEX GO build.
- Instruct: Explain the activity/experiment that the students are doing. How should they get started? What are the rules? What is the success criteria?
- Model: Show an example of a partially filled out data sheet, game sheet, or an illustration of what the robot should be doing during the activity. Make that activity visible and give the teacher tips on how to also make it visible.
- Facilitate: Teachers will be given prompts to engage students in a discussion about what the goals of the activity are, the spatial reasoning involved with the building, and how to troubleshoot unexpected outcomes for their designs or plans for an activity. This discussion will also verify that the students understand the purpose of the activity and how to properly use the pieces from the VEX GO Kit.
- Remind: Teachers will remind students that their build, design, or attempt at the activity will not be fully correct the first time. Encourage multiple iterations and remind students that trial and error is a part of learning.
- Ask: Teachers will engage students in a discussion that will focus on developing a growth mindset. Some examples could include, “Did something go wrong? Great! How can you use this mistake to improve your design?” or “Not happy with your design? Fantastic! Who can you seek feedback from to make your design better?”
- Students have an opportunity to communicate their learning in multiple ways. Using the Choice Board, students will be given a “voice and choice” for how they best display their learning.