Taking STEM to new heights: KEVA, Q-BA-MAZE and Pattern Play

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Taking STEM to new heights:
KEVA, Q-BA-MAZE and Pattern Play

By Guest Blogger: Terri L.

“All of these products really took my STEM endeavors to new heights. Most of the things I had been using were recycled materials. These activities were coveted by all of the kids. They walked in the door each morning asking to do STEM! 🙂 What a great motivator!” – Terri L.

 

Child with KEVA Brain Builders Jr.

KEVA: Brain Builders Jr.: This activity is being used as a part of the STEM/STEAM program in my Kindergarten classroom. KEVA planks are the perfect brain building and stimulating tools. They fully support practice on transforming a 2D image into a 3D structure. The children are motivated to create the clearly photographed images in the booklet but quickly move on to designing and building their own creations. This particular product is perfect for independent practice, although the children would often invite a friend to work with them. I hole-punched the visual cards and put them on 3 rings for accessibility and use with the standard KEVA plank sets. As with all of the MindWare products, Brain Builders Jr. is well-made and durable and I look forward to watching my kids explore with them for years to come.

Boy with KEVA Color Pops Purple Build

KEVA COLOR POPS: This activity is being used as a part of the STEM/STEAM program in my Kindergarten classroom. KEVA planks are the perfect brain building and stimulating tools. Children are challenged to transform 2D images into 3D creations. This particular KEVA set adds an entirely new dimension – color! The color shading variations within the purple or teal family allows for and encourages even more focus and attention to detail. These two sets are, by far, the most popular STEM activities in the classroom. The booklet provided gives the children enough images to get their creative mind wheels turning and encourages them to take their structures to new heights. The amount of planks in this set allow for an individual student to create large structures or several students to work in tandem to create many designs. The children can also use the KEVA Brain Builders Jr. design cards as guidance because of the beautiful crossover opportunities from one KEVA set to another. As with all of the MindWare products, KEVA Color Pops planks are well-made and durable and I look forward to watching my kids explore, learn and create with them for years to come.

Girls with KEVA Color Pops Teal Build

Q-BA-MAZE: This activity is being used as a part of the STEM/STEAM program in my Kindergarten classroom. My 5 and 6 year old students found this particular activity to be very challenging. When they began using it they really needed a lot of support in order to learn how to connect the pieces. After several weeks of manipulating the pieces and experimenting with the marbles, some of the children began to make the connection between piece purpose and placement. I was amazed! These same children then make it their mission to teach all of their classmates how to use it to create awesome marble runs. How’s that for community and teamwork?!

Students working on Pattern Play: Bright Colors

PATTERN PLAY: BRIGHT COLORS: This activity is being used as a part of the STEM/STEAM program in my Kindergarten classroom. It is awesome! It quickly became one of the most popular STEM materials in the room. The children liked to work in teams to recreate the beautiful designs displayed on the pattern cards. It also allows for the children to make their own creations. I love to watch the kids work to figure out how to manipulate the blocks to complete their creations. Great brain work! All components of this product are well-made and durable and I expect that it will last for years to come.

 

About Terri: 

I have been a Kindergarten teacher for 29 years – same district, same classroom! I absolutely love teaching and am always looking for new ways to inspire, motivate, intrigue and excite my students. I am a lifelong learner and find that my greatest learning occurs, in my classroom, right alongside my children.

 

What products have you used  to focus on STEM/STEAM initiatives in your classroom? Share with us in the comments below, and at @MindWareToys on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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