Classroom Implementation Guide

Successfully implementing classroom technology goes beyond the purchase and requires a team effort.

At Digital Dream Labs, we strongly believe in supporting your technology needs, while also relying on an educational community to ease implementation. Our Teacher Training Portal serves to support your classroom. Consistently in collaboration with educators, if there is anything you’d like more information about or like to add to this page, we’d love to connect.

Puzzlets Checklist

The following checklist has been gathered from experienced educators using Puzzlets in their classrooms:

Pre-Class:

  • Connector.

    Organize Puzzlets Tiles

    1. Write a number on the back of each Puzzlets tile with a sharpie.
    2. Store the sets of tiles along with the Play Trays in organizational bins or ziplock bags.
    3. Print & laminate a Puzzlets’ Organizer to accompany each Play Tray.

  • Connector.

    Connect Play Trays

    Set Play Tray and Puzzlets tiles out on desks / work stations and connect each Play Tray to a compatible device.

  • Connector.

    Have Fun Learning

    If you’re looking for lesson plans, our course curriculums are a great tool and offer a variety of age-appropriate activities. (Course curriculums are available with the purchase of all educational bundles.)

Post-Class:

  • Connector.

    Store Puzzlets Tiles

    Sort the tiles into storage containers according to their number. Use the printable Puzzlets Organizer to help students maintain complete sets.

  • Connector.

    Close Application

    Quit the application on each connected device. This will stop the Play Tray from maintaining its Bluetooth connection — draining the battery. (Recent updates have introduced a time-out feature which aids in addressing this issue.)

  • Connector.

    Clean Play Trays

    Wipe down Play Trays with baby wipes in order to prevent any diseases from spreading among the students.

  • Connector.

    Charge Play Trays

    Plug your Play Trays into charge over night. (Frequency will vary depending on use.)

We’re always looking for new tips & tricks to share with teachers. Use our Contact Page to let us know how you use Puzzlets in your classroom.

Implementation FAQ

We care about teachers just as much as students, so we’ve gathered tips from our Puzzlets community to make your lessons a rewarding experience.

Puzzlets is compatible with many devices, either wirelessly via Bluetooth 4.0 LE or wired via the included Micro USB 2.0 cable. The following is a list of devices currently compatible with the Puzzlets platform:

  • iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini, iPad Mini Retina, iPad Pro (wirelessly via Bluetooth 4.0 LE)
  • iPhone 4s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus (wireless via Bluetooth 4.0 LE)
  • iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro (USB 2.0 only, even if your Mac supports Bluetooth)
  • Android tablets & phones (wireless Bluetooth 4.0 LE, Android 4.3+)

In a classroom, you may wonder how to connect multiple devices at once. We’ve discovered that it works best to simply place the tablet on top of the play tray you’d like to connect it with. In doing so, we discovered that our bluetooth is searching for the device closest to it this makes for the most efficient connections.

When implementing new tools into a classroom, it is always super helpful to have organizational strategies to keep everything running smoothly. In my room, I use anywhere from 8-14 play trays at a time. To keep things organized I simply write on the back of a tile with a sharpie (1-14) for each set of tiles and keep them in the plastic bins that you can pick up at a dollar store. Keeping them in bins that are large enough to move tiles around and so your students can view what is available to use helps to keep them from falling off of students desks and all of the floor.

To start working with Puzzlets, I lay the Play Trays out on student desks with an accompanying tablet. I open up the app and as soon as I see the blue light blink, I know my tray is connected and ready for student use. At the end of the day, I just stack my bins up in a corner and charge the trays from a USB port of the desktop computers in the back of my room over night.

No matter the subject area you teach, there’s a place for computer science in your curriculum. Cork The Volcano was built around the 4 Cs of 21st century learning: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity. These skills will help students develop success in all subject matter. You can use it to support Habits of Mind, sequencing events in reading and writing and computational thought, patterns in math. It truly is a cross curricular learning tool. Here are a few ways we find that work the best when introducing Puzzlets to your students:

  • Download the 8-Week Coding Curriculum. Here you will find tips, tricks and implementation tools including: paper cutouts designed to familiarize students with sequencing commands to assessments for students asa they make their way through each of the lessons.
  • We highly recommend starting out with Puzzlets as a full class activity, use the paper cuts outs, maybe act like a robot and get your students to program YOU to walk to the door, then program each other to do a task. These active, engaging opportunities will help students connect their ability to give direction to computational thinking skills that will help them advance through the levels of Cork the Volcano.
  • Now it’s time to play! Let your students engage with Puzzlets in pairs, or 1-1 and support their energy and excitement when learning to code! Walk the room, ask questions and support their learning.

No matter the subject area you teach, there’s a place for computer science in your curriculum. Cork The Volcano was built around the 4 Cs of 21st century learning: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity. These skills will help students develop success in all subject matter. You can use it to support Habits of Mind, sequencing events in reading and writing and computational thought, patterns in math. It truly is a cross curricular learning tool.

For teachers that are averse to using technology in their classroom Puzzlets is a great tool to try out! Thanks to the manipulative tools, our play tray and tiles, keeps students engaged and collaborating with each other connected to the real world, while also working with technology. We realize how important it is to not only support our early adopters but to also provide tools and resources for our hesitant teachers. We recommend engaging your teachers in a Play and Learn session where they have the opportunity to experience the game play in action, this will help them better see the vocabulary and discussions that will develop from paired game play. From there offer them the resources provided where we can work to continue to build up and provide the support every teacher may need!

This may happen for a number of reasons. First think about your connection. Is the ipad too close to another play tray? Maybe a student excitedly ran up to you to show of their code but because they walked away from their desk now the tray is disconnected. Things like this happen, but not to worry. There’s a few simple steps you can take to make this happen less often and what to do when it does.

  • Just close out the app, completely close out — so on an ipad you would double click and swipe up.
  • Bring the tablet back to the playtray, play it on top and open the app back up it should reconnect to the device closest and you should be set!
  • If that doesn’t resolve the issue, turn the tablet off and turn bluetooth off/ back on again.
  • If that doesn’t resolve the connection issue, try resetting the Play Tray by pressing the reset switch next to the LED indicator light.
  • If the issue persist after following the above instructions, contact customer support for assistance.

Contact custom support for assistance with this issue. We will work with you to resolve the issue and send-out a new Micro USB cord if needed!

still need help with Puzzlets in your classroom?

Contact our customer support for assistance.