I am a school psychologist at a 6th Grade Center and a primary Pre-K through 2nd grade building in the Ferguson-Florissant School District. Between these buildings we serve over 600 students, 92% of whom receive free and reduced price lunch. Our schools are diverse, with children from all ethnic backgrounds, family situations, and levels of academic/behavior proficiency. While many of our students are on grade-level, many more struggle with academic and social/emotional/behavioral deficits.
The students I work with in "Lego Club" have been identified as requiring intervention to address behavioral concerns.
My students do not receive special education support and are bright individuals. However, they struggle in the classroom because they communicate ineffectively, are sometimes defiant, and are quick to react to real or perceived injustices from both peers and adults using ineffective means. My goal is to increase vocabulary, social skills, self-advocacy skills, and especially communication, while building relationships with and between my students!
Lego Club meets twice a week for 30 to 40 minutes. I started with our school's Robotics Club kits, but quickly found these were not engaging to my students and were more complex than we were looking for. Between my counselor and I, we are hoping to service multiple groups of first, second, and sixth graders. Not only has this intervention helped build students' social communication skills, but it has allowed me to build better relationships with many students I would not otherwise have the opportunity to work with.
Rest assured I do not dump Legos on a table and let 'em go to town!
This would result in mass chaos! During Lego Club (a model I've adapted from Daniel LeGoff's book: Lego Based Therapy) the students change roles throughout our sessions. These include Engineer, Supplier, and Builder. We have set our ground rules--to be kind, to cooperate, and to do your job. Each month I pick a new social skill of focus, such as asking for help/clarification, taking turns, disagreeing politely, staying on task, etc.
The students have roles which change each session: Engineer--describing Lego pieces (building vocabulary and basic concepts) and giving directions (communicating effectively and working with others), Supplier--finding pieces (using listening skills and problem solving), and Builder--putting pieces together (using listening skills and following directions). Other skills are built such as waiting patiently, helping others, and providing feedback. Most importantly, the students are working together to create something!
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