Lincoln Elementary School 3rd grader, Anthony Lecea is a Lego aficionado and has attended Bricks 4 Kidz workshops and has a collection of over 1000 of the addictive little building blocks that have been popular for generations. Bricks 4 Kidz is a hands-on educational program focused on introducing children to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning through the use of focused exercises and building lessons that utilize Lego bricks. Anthony’s Mom entered a contest that offered an in-school field trip from Bricks 4 Kidz as a prize and surprise…she won. It was a big win for Mrs. Luna’s third grade class who spent an afternoon engineering carnival rides in their classroom.
Catherine Leckrone and Lisa Kosina of Bricks 4 Kidz arrived with their trademark aprons and carts of fun. When asked by Ms. Leckrone what students can learn by building with Legos, the answers came very quickly…”You can use your imagination,” said one student. “You can be creative,” said another. She was obviously pleased with their answers and added a few more benefits to the list including; thinking critically, making mistakes, going back and correcting them, the value of teamwork and more.
Ms. Leckrone described what the students would be building, a motorized amusement park carousel swing; “Like you might find at Indiana Beach or Six Flags Great America,” she said showing them a picture of the ride and generating yet more excitement. While explaining to the students how the lesson would be organized, Aiden Bright quickly raised his hand to point out that in Social Studies the class is learning about economics and the project sounded a lot like an assembly line. “It’s exactly like that,” said Mrs. Leckrone, with a big smile.
It wasn’t long before the kits were passed out and the students got down to work in groups of 2 or 3, with Ms. Leckrone and Ms. Kosina of Bricks 4 Kidz and substitute teacher Stephanie Wilks moving from group to group answering questions and watching the builds in progress. In less than an hour, every group had constructed a swing that moved, though not always flawlessly. A group of three, Vanessa Gootee, Annalie Vogel and Anna Prim discovered that if the wrong gear was used the swing moved extremely fast, but unfortunately disassembled itself in the process. Across the room another team discovered the exact same problem. A group of students that included; Aiden Hazlett, Aiden Bright, and Jacob Drewno assembled their swing very quickly and soon discovered that if you moved the swing forward and backward very quickly, you could send the tiny swing riders off the ride and flying through the air.
As the swings were constructed, the quiet concentration used to build the swings turned to squeals of laughter and smiles of delight at what they had accomplished. From cars to catapults and from roller coasters to space shuttles, the possibilities are endless with Bricks 4 Kidz and Legos, a lesson well learned on a sunny Friday afternoon at Lincoln Elementary.
Melissa Walley brought many years of teaching experience to Lincoln Elementary when she first arrived as Assistant Principal in August of 2012. Mrs. Walley previously taught at Our Lady of Guadalupe School in Chicago, as well as serving the School City of Hobart for thirteen years. She is a native of Crown Point and continues to reside in her hometown with husband Dennis and two daughters, Hannah and Ella.
Mrs. Walley earned an Associate’s Degree in Early Education, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Purdue University Calumet. “I believe that one of the most important and exciting things an educator can do is to keep learning,” says Walley.
She is an avid reader and brings her love of reading and learning to all of the students at Lincoln Elementary School. “I want the very best for Lincoln Students. I believe that all children can achieve success with appropriate support, and should always feel successful as they learn and grow.” Mrs. Walley’s distinctive approach to leading and learning has brought unique opportunities to Lincoln students where dogs teach manners, gorillas encourage kindness and smiles are found in hallways and classrooms. You can follow the adventures of Mrs. Walley and her students on Facebook!
This Week at Lincoln
Tuesday - May 24th
Talent Show-6:00 p.m.
Wednesday - May 25th
Parade of Graduates-10:00 a.m.
Thursday - May 26th
1st Grade Donuts with Dads
Friday - May 27th
A huge THANK YOU to those who attended our, "Night Out With The Superintendent," series. The open forumsduring the month long series and give and take conversations on school funding, technology, use of facility space, homework, a balanced school calendar, curriculum and more will be utilized by Superintendent Tom Taylor and the members of the School Board of Trustees to prioritize the needs and direction of Hanover Schools.