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Technology Teacher Offers Five Tips for Teaching With Toys

Technology Teacher Offers Five Tips for Teaching With Toys

When it comes to toys, students can do much more than just enjoy playing with them.

Looking around the classroom, there are plenty of toys that can perform “double duty”, such as Legos, Play-Doh or math manipulatives, said an article on

“In a learning space crowded with screens, what is the role of the connected toy?” asked Sam Patterson, K-5 technology teacher. “With mindful integration, we can get kids tinkering, exploring and making by invoking the power of play. This isn’t about the single function of Speak & Spell or the foreboding complexity of Lego Mindstorms. This is also about finding tools that connect with the skills that students are already developing, such as those in science, technology, engineering and math.”

In the article, Patterson offers teachers five tips for using toys in the classroom. The first tip is to “learn one thing.”

“There are many robots out there,” he said. “Right now, I am learning how Sphero Robots can work to support learning. I hope these lessons are transferable to other robots and to connected toys yet to be developed.”

Another one of his tips is to “set some rules.”

“All of the best games have rules. Set some, and then hold your students to them,” Patterson said. “There are many ways to play with robots, but learning needs some structure and accountability.” Patterson’s last tip was to “connect with a community.”

“Share your journey by reaching out to people already using the tool and connecting with the company behind it,” he said. “The best companies out there are already working to figure out how to support teachers and learning.”

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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