Students and teacher unpack Rigamajig and investigate all of the different parts together before any play. Begin by looking at all the parts as a group and ask children to describe what they see, where have they seen these kinds of shapes in real life etc.? The initial discussion can also go in the direction of creative and more abstract ideas as well. Followed by the unpacking, teacher and students establish the ground rules for positive cooperative play.
Creating a Collaborative Building Culture:
As a whole group on large chart paper, ask children to name the shapes that they see. For example, the wing nut could be labeled as "butterfly." Develop a common language as a class. Name them and draw them on large chart paper as a group. This can later be used as the classes’ reference page, which can be taken out when the toy comes out for a lesson or free play.
Teacher and students establish the ground rules and group norms for positive cooperative play. This is also to be recorded on chart paper and made visible during work with Rigamajig.
Brainstorm ideas of using the materials safely. Refer to other building materials that they may have used in the classroom in the past. Talk about what works while using those materials and what may also work with Rigamajig. Talk about basic rules of cooperation and sharing.
How do we ask for something that we need?
How do we ask for a turn and say, "I’m using this right now, but you can use it when I’m done."
How do we suggest other pieces or other configurations of pieces to one another if the one we first wanted wasn’t available?
These are all simple steps that will support children while they are interacting with the toy and one another. Children need to be reminded of their amazing skills, and these conversations will be something for all to refer back to while using Rigamajig in the future with great success.
What makes a good collaborator?
Tell us about a problem you encountered and how you solved it ?