Year after year, it is my goal to continue to grow and improve the robotics program we have. After evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the class, an identified improvement was the need of a non-verbal way of communicating students’ need for assistance.
As part of Robotics class in second grade, we introduce students to the “Wait” option when asking for help. On each work station, a LEGO magnet is affixed to a metal cabinet with two minifigures. One minifigure, Jack, has green pants- representing, “I am good to go, no questions.” The other minifigure, Jill, has orange pants-meaning, “Caution, I have a question, but I will ‘wait’ and do some problem solving while the teachers helps other students.” Not only does this encourage students to work through their difficulties on their own, it is also a great classroom management technique. Students are less likely to shout out when they need assistance.
This “Wait Time” strategy allows students a moment to “wait” and work through initial failure as a demonstration of their growth mindset and a stepping stone to finding a solution. This waiting process is not just beneficial for the students; it allows the teacher time to not only consider possible solutions themselves but reach each child and have the peace of mind that the students aren’t sitting idle. This technique has benefited the program as a whole; it is truly amazing that something as simple as two LEGO minifigures and a magnet can be representative of so much more.