Play-based learning: "As a teacher I have learned to do my job better"
A preschool teacher in Nicaragua shares how she has become a better teacher, how her students grasp concepts faster and better and develop collaboration skills when learning through play with LEGO materials.
Rosa is a preschool teacher in a Fabretto center in Estelí, a city in northern Nicaragua. She attended LEGO® trainings and has been implementing playful methodologies in her classroom activities this school year. In that time, she has found the LEGO methodologies to be very beneficial to both her as a teacher and her students learning.” As a teacher I have learned how to do my job better. I have also found that my students grasp the concepts faster and better because they are working with the LEGO materials”.
The LEGO methodologies have helped preschool students learn colours and shapes, a central topic at this early age. “But the LEGO materials can be added to many subjects”, Rosa adds. Rosa sets aside 45 minutes each week to work specifically with the materi-als in her classes, picking one of the methodologies to work with. “They help enforce the topics we’ve worked with during the day and enhance the curriculum set by the Ministry of Education”.
Rosa also uses the LEGO materials in other activities. When Rosa has daily story time, the LEGO materials come into play to help tell the story, making this activity more dy-namic and encouraging a love for reading and stories.
Rosa says that she sees the positive effects of LEGO materials beyond simply academic benefits. “Students learn to socialize when they work and play together”, she says and the materials help facilitate these group activities. The materials also help students be more creative “because they can create anything – farms, buildings, anything they imag-ine, they can create”.
Additionally, the incorporation of LEGO materials into the class schedule has helped improve retention rates and attendance. “Parents tell me that their children say: I have to go to school on Friday. Friday is the day when we use the LEGO materials”.
The students’ enthusiasm for the activities makes them more eager to learn and improves attendance at the schools where LEGO activities are implemented.
In 2015, Fabretto Foundation received a donation of 600 boxes with LEGO play materials benefitting some 6000 children as well as teacher training courses in how to implement play-based learning and maximise use of the materials.