10 Top Classroom Management Tips For WeDo 2.0

From opening the box To packing down at the end of the lesson

Ok, let’s start by setting the scene….

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?” 
In this blog post, we aim to provide you with some of the best tips for managing WeDo 2.0 effectively in the classroom. From the first time you open the box, to the end of the lesson, we will explore the best classroom management methods and practices that ensure you and your pupils get the greatest teaching and 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?
LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0 using iPad
WeDo 2.0 utilises low energy bluetooth and therefore requires compatible devices to be able to run the software and connect with the Smarthub. I cannot stress enough the importance of understanding these requirements so please ensure you review the full details that are all available on our website.

LEGO® Education freely 
provide the WeDo 2.0 software, as well as a range of incredible teaching resources and curriculum materials. The WeDo 2.0 App for iOS and Chromebook comes with several great resources available for download. These include an Introductory PDF, Teacher Toolkit and Teacher Guides for Computational Thinking and Science. To see all of the freely available downloads for WeDo 2.0 you can visit our dedicated web page.

My particular favourite resources are the E-Learning modules for WeDo 2.0. These engaging video-based courses provide every teacher with a jump start into teaching outstanding lessons with WeDo 2.0. You can access these E-Learning modules below.

By fully understanding the System Requirements and exploring the freely available software and resources before you order, you will help to ensure you make a real flying start with WeDo 2.0. Plus, as a teacher you will have a much clearer understanding of how WeDo 2.0 can be used effectively to deliver curriculum outcomes.

The Initial Setup...

Every WeDo 2.0 Core Set consists of 280 LEGO® Building Elements, a medium motor, touch sensor, tilt sensor and the Smarthub, all contained within a sturdy plastic box with a sorting tray. When you open the lid for the first time you will need to remove the various elements and arrange them into the sorting tray provided, as well as the base of the box. Each core set comes with a card that is placed on top of the sorting tray, on the back of which is a very handy diagram showing where each places lives within the box. You are also provided with a set of stickers, that are designed to be stuck onto the walls of the compartments in the sorting tray.

Most Primary Schools have a set of pupils that are recognised as their Digital leaders; pupils that support how their school utilises digital technologies in the classroom. They may be called something different in your school but ultimately they have the same role. The initial set up of your WeDo 2.0 sets is a perfect activity to get your Digital Leaders involved in. Providing them with ownership and responsibility over this aspect will only help to ensure that the same due care and attention is applied when packing down sets at the end of lessons.
Lego education wedo 2.0 set

Pupil Task

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 utlises Digital Signage and iPads, they could create a video that you share on the screens around school to reinforce the expectations.

Label your Core Sets and Smarthubs

Most schools get into the habit of labeling or numbering their resources so they may be easily identified and organised. I see this alot 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.

 
 

Pupil Task

This could be another task for your Digital Leaders!

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.

1. Have a 'Lost & Found' Box

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.

2. Set Expectations

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 with pupils:

  • 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’

3. Check The Floor Regularly

Inevitably, LEGO® pieces will find their way onto the floor. Encourage the pupils to check the floor around them and place any pieces they find into the ‘Lost & Found’ box.

4. The Cleaners Are Your Best Friends When It Comes To Lost LEGO®

At the end of the school day it is always useful to make sure the cleaners know that if they find any LEGO® bricks on the floor that they should place them into the ‘Lost & Found’ box.

5. Spares

An additional WeDo 2.0 Core Set is always useful to have to act as a source of spares. Alternatively we do provide Replacement Packs, containing spares of the most commonly used WeDo 2.0 elements.

6. Check The Sets

Make packing away WeDo 2.0 an important aspect of every lesson. Ensure your pupils check their sets thoroughly before they put the lid back on their box. This can be tough at first but over time your pupils will learn to keep their set tidy and to take care of the pieces.

7. Build On The Box Lids

The lid of the WeDo 2.0 box is very useful and where possible I would encourage you to get pupils to build on top of it. The lip around the edge of the box is a perfect way of reducing incidents of dropped LEGO® bricks.

8. Establish Routines

Routines will help look after the LEGO®; putting the routine up on the wall and making a display of it can motivate your pupils even more. Using phrases such as ‘Hands on’ when you want them to start building and ‘Hands off’ when you want them to put the lid on their box and stop building.

9. Label Major Parts Of Your Kits

We explored this in the initial set up but you can label/colour code/number the components of each kit so you know which parts belong to each set, e.g. the box, building instructions, battery box, motors, sensors, etc.

10. Leave Time for Packing Down

As mentioned in Top Tip 6, this is an important aspect of the lesson. You want to ensure that pupils do not panic and rush when deconstructing their creations and packing them into the box.

In Conclusion...

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 instill in your pupils. They will develop their organisational skills when using WeDo 2.0, as well as adopting a deep sense of appreciation for the amazing resources they have access to.
WeDo 2.0 for education

Download our Classroom Management PDF

Get in touch

This blog was created by Craig Rulton, our Director of Training and Marketing.

To speak with Craig please contact him via marketing@jtrs.co.uk.
director of training