Educational children’s toy company P’kolino sells products to help educate children. I am excited to review the Cargo Plane Balancer, which makes an excellent manipulative for teaching math and science.
Preschool Science Lesson & Review of the Product
As an educator I am always on the lookout for toys that can work as manipulatives for a preschool science lesson. P’kolino is a company that specializes in making educational products. When I first introduced my daughter Sammy to the Cargo Plane Balancer I gave her free playtime with the toy. I always like to get silly play out of the way before focusing on an educational lesson with manipulatives. After two minutes my daughter was ready to have a guided discovery lesson.
As I used the product, I used the 5 E Learning Cycle method that I learned at Vanderbilt. The 5 E Learning Cycle meant that when I planned an educational lesson, I considered the following: engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, and evaluation.
When I began teaching, I engaged my daughter by modeling how to make the plane balance evenly with different size blocks. Next, as I focused on the exploration stage, I asked my daughter to place the blocks on the balancer to construct an understanding about weight. I explained to my daughter how the heaviest side of the plane dropped because more blocks meant more weight.
As I elaborated on the concept I used an open-ended, higher order question. I asked my daughter how we could make the plane stay even on both sides. My daughter had to think through what she was doing to come up with an answer. To complete the final stage of the 5 E Learning Cycle, I evaluated my daughter’s understanding when I had her make different combinations of blocks to create an evenly weighted balancer.
I thought the Cargo Plane Balancer was excellent. My daughter was engaged and she learned some important information. As a mom who supports home schooling, I really like when toys have an educational purpose. I wholeheartedly recommend the toy for parents as well as teachers. I think the toy would compliment a lot of lesson plans for preschool classrooms to first grade. I can imagine using the toy to teach how to balance equations as well as how to use the equal sign. In the future, I plan to use the product with both of my daughters regularly. Learn more at the company’s website.
I received a product, but it in no way influenced my opinion.