How I Use It
I used Sago Mini Toolbox as a introduction to STEM, during the beginning of the year. I began the lesson with the whole class on my rug, in front of the smart board, and they took turns participating in the motions needed to complete the process. I began the lesson by reading the book "Young Frank, Architect".
After the story, I transitioned by asking the students "Who wants to be like young frank, who wants to build!". The app began with a sad dog in front of a collapsed house, I had the students guess what the problem was, what happened, and what we can do to help. The students gave great input, and then when we began to fix the dog house students were naming the tools we used to fix it, one student would go up and complete the task. While the student was at the board, the rest of the students would either join along with motions, or they would cheer on the student.
We created 3 projects, giving us a good look at most of the tools, and the ability for more students to participate. After we finished the 3rd project I assessed the students by asking simple questions about what we did, and informed them about what we will be doing the next class.
WHAT WORKED: The students were very excited while using the app. The app was very simple to use, so I didn't need to waste any time explaining it to the students. It also involved the whole group, and encouraged teamwork in my classroom. Students were also excited to start STEM and couldn't wait till the next class.
WHAT DIDN'T WORK: Students were unable to guess the final project from the initial clues most of the time. Students were also expecting to use hammers and drills in the following class, leading some of them to view the STEM project as babyish.
This app is snazzy, stylish, fun, and is able to tap into students already strong interest in making things and tinkering. Also it was able to achieve my goal of introducing STEM and getting the kids excited about building. However this app lacks in a few areas. First of all its easy, too easy, there is no depth or logic.Second tool interaction is repetitive and not connected to the final result, which takes away from the students feeling of accomplishment. I think this could be fixed by simply showing the students the goal of what they needed to build. This would have the students think before hand what tools were needed and feel more involved in the building process.