My students love building. Legos, pattern blocks, playdoh… basically anything that is hands on. I love incorporating any type of manipulative into their learning, so I was super excited to give Wacky Links a try.
In the past few weeks, we have done three different STEM activities using Wacky Links and they have been all the rage in our classroom.
Before I introduce any new manipulatives into our independent rotations, I let them explore them a bit. This way, when I actually want them to do a structured activity, they actually do it.
Wacky Links are super easy to use and SUPER easy to take apart and reset, which is a big deal for this busy teacher. You can cut them, wash them, and reuse them over and over again, OR you can let students make their creations and take them home to show off!
The first center we completed was building 2D and 3D shapes. A few of my kindergarten students just finished up their Geometry unit, so it was great timing to see how their learning would transfer over.
In this center, the students had flashcards to reference, and they had the challenge to try a 3D shape. You can grab these shape flashcards for free at the end of this post.
I was SUPER impressed with their abilities!
I pulled out our 3D shapes and noticed some of the students using them to figure out how to assemble the 3D shapes. I get so excited when I see their determination and the wheels in their heads turning!
The second center was introduced during our reading rotations. The students had to make their names out of the Wacky Links.
I loved seeing how they recreated the letters.
Sometimes when they got stuck on the letter it helped to write it down so they could visualize a plan for creating it.
The most common center I’ve used is “Free Build.”
Please note: While I did receive these sets at no cost, all opinions in this post are 100% my own.
During our math rotations, I have two centers that involve independent tasks. Students have a specific amount of work to do, and then they get to do a choice STEM activity.
I’m sure you can guess which activity they like to choose.
If you want to grab the printable I used for the centers, click below.
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