Teaching at Lego Camp

If you’ve been reading, then you know that I had a chance to teach on my own this past week. (Or, you know, some week in the past.) I had a great group of kids and really enjoyed it. Here are some reflections on what went well, what didn’t, and what I might try next time.

What Went Well

I really think that my first day of camp script went over well. I felt prepared, and I was able to share everything I wanted to right away. There were some procedures that we didn’t stick to very strictly because they weren’t really needed. Hands raised versus hands on heads was one. I reminded the guys of the procedure the first couple of days but then let it go since the group was so small.

Another thing I enjoyed, that I know the campers did too, was providing a guessing game on that day’s build. On the board each day was a “Who am I?” riddle describing a particular dinosaur. A couple guys in this group really knew their dinos so it made it easy but still fun (and consistent).

My picture of the feedback I got from campers at the end of my solo-taught camp.

End of camp feedback

Although I struggled with filling time, there were a couple of things I did on the last day that I also think went really well. First, I bought some dinosaur pencils as a thank you gift and attached a hand-written, personalized thank-you note. The notes started and ended the same, but I made sure to include one positive thing that I observed about each person during camp. I hope they read and enjoyed them, but it made me feel good so that is enough for me. The second thing I did was to get feedback from the group. What did you like? What did you dislike? What would you do differently? I got very useful, mature feedback on various things about the camp. Some I’ll be able to use right away. Others, I may forward up the ladder.

What did not go well

Honestly, the lego builds themselves didn’t always go very well. There were at least two models that didn’t pay off the builders’ time and effort. They either didn’t work like they were supposed to or broke very easily. I was proud of them for sticking with it, especially since sometimes it was anticlimactic. I should have encouraged them to find ways to make the builds stronger or make changes so that the dinosaurs move better. They were a smart bunch and probably could have made some good discoveries.

I already addressed most of this elsewhere but the station play didn’t work with such a small group (or maybe just with this group). The original choices were free play lego building, driving a couple of Meeper Bots, and a LEGO board game. Camp starts with about a half an hour of free building, the Meeper Bots didn’t always work well, and the board game was very basic so I can understand why they lost interest.

One thing that actually worked, but I let get in the way was the daily schedule. Everyone enjoyed knowing what was next (they stopped asking after the first day), however, I let the timing interfere. This was especially bad on Wednesday when the guys built the Triceratops. This model moves on its own since the battery is part of the body. This lends itself to all kinds of races and battles but because I allowed myself to be controlled by the times I wrote on the schedule, we missed out on a lot of potential fun. Later in the week, I made the times approximate but kept the order the same.


What do you do when things aren’t going quite like you hoped? Do you put a pin in it and come back? Do you elicit feedback? Do you try to make changes on the spot? What do you think of how I handled it? Please, let me know in the comments.


Comments: 1

Leave a reply »


Love this, Sharon, and love your ideas!

Leave a Reply

(will not be published)