Helpful Hints for LEGO Teachers

Have two students work adjacent to each other (not opposite) so that they can see the same slant on the instructions.  Perspective will make a difference on how they build.  Left right orientation is important.
Keep the general atmosphere positive.  Have students be Constructive.

The lid, placed up right, is used for building area.  State that is it part of the box.

State the rules.
LEGO Building Rules:  Only elements out of the set are in the model. Only pieces in the model are out of the set. No pieces on the table at any time.  ( This means for example no dumping,  no pieces in the mouth or on the floor nor playing around with in hands. )  This material is to be treated as science equipment not as toys.  There is a place for everything and everything in its place.
Use a POSIT on building set lid.  Have students write name, date, and project on the lid.
Take a picture of the pairs students with instructions at the beginning of a Build.  This is to keep track of who built what and to give "ownership" to the project to the students.

Be sure to have a picture taken before taking the model apart.

Place pieces in the correct spots as you dismantle rather than take all apart and then put away.

The Unit of measure for LEGO elements the a "stud" - the bumps on top.  For example the length of axles is given in studs.  Have students place an axle along a plate or beam and count the bumps to see if it is the needed length.

Using names of pieces facilitates building and flow of ideas.  Beams have holes for axles and connectors.  Plates are one third the thickness of beams or blocks. Gears are wheels with teeth.  They must mesh for one gear to drive the other.  The one that is driven is called the follower.

LEGO Links of Linda Hamilton

A great resource is Fred G. Martin's  The Art of LEGO Design.
An article originally published in The Robotics Practitioner that presents a variety of tips,
tricks, and "design clichés'' for building with the LEGO Technic system.
 Adobe Acrobat PDF file (974 KB).

Classroom hints that were at http://www.ceeo.tufts.edu/ldaps/htdocs/curriculum/gearmath.html

Tips for young students

May 24, 2001
update August 29, 2013