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  Instructional Support Services Adult Education Student Programs personnel

New hands-on learning project positively impacts students, creates measurable results

compass program logoFor two-and-a-half marking periods, seventh graders in Mrs. Elizabeth Brazee’s ELA class participated in The Outsiders LEGO Project. The unique unit project required that the participating Compass Program students to watch segments of the movie, The Outsiders, as they read sections of the book, written by SE Hinton. Students completed reading questions for each chapter, participated in class discussions, and were formatively assessed about their knowledge of the text.

The Compass Program’s STEM Coordinator Mrs. Jen Wall partnered with Mrs. Brazee throughout the three-month project.

“This was an awesome project,” said Mrs. Wall. “Our students learn more through hands-on learning, and they become more engaged in class. This project created instant buy-in from our students.”

The driving question of The Outsiders LEGO Project was: How do animation specialists design, build, and create stop motion movies for an online audience. To uncover the answer, students designed storyboards, built sets made from legos, and created a stop motion animation video retelling different scenes from the story.

Compass Program students take a literacy and reading test three times a year.

“We do this to measure their grade-level equivalency reading level,” said Mrs. Brazee. “Upon completion of the project, participating students’ test scores  significantly increased -- I’m really proud of this group.”

Students share their passion for the project
“I really enjoyed reading The Outsiders because we got to build with LEGOs. It let us use our imagination.” - AL

“I liked building the sets and watching the movie. It made the book easier to understand.” - XG

“Watching the movie in class helped me understand the story better.” - KM

“I liked taking pictures of the LEGOs. I listened to other people’s ideas and paid attention to small details.” - JR

“It was fun.” GR

One student felt so much pride for the project that he spoke about it during CO BOCES’ Annual Dinner -- with an audience of more than 100!

Congratulations to Mrs. Brazee and Mrs. Wall on the creation and implementation of a new and successful project-based learning program!





Brian K. Hartwell, Ed.D.
District Superintendent of Schools

1879 West Genesee Street Rd.
Auburn, NY 13021
Phone: (315) 253-0361

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