We used this in groups of 5 in my 4th grade class. Each student was able to create a machine with help from the group. After creating the machine, they used the activity cards- reading and answering the questions for that machine. I went around and checked their answers and then they moved on to the next machine. This is a great tool for understanding simple machines, student led learning, and cooperative learning. I would also recommend the activity cards that go with it.
This timer had some bad reviews but it really is great. It makes transitions during Guided Reading time efficient and perfect. I suspect that many of the negative reviews about it breaking are because people are not clear on best way to care for it. The timer is a bit fragile and takes a low voltage adapter or AAA batteries. If you are rough or use too high of a power source it can break like some reviews say, However, Learning Resources has wonderful customer service that is super helpful and accommodating. I wish it was a bit more durable, but it is so awesome for the time saving it provides in a tight schedule that it is well worth it.
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