Classroom Resource: Quick Kit Inventory

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One house-keeping task that many teachers have questions about, is how often to organize and inventory the NXT kits.  Most teachers recommend that the kit be organized as indicated in the included placards on a daily basis (when a project is disassembled, all parts are placed in the indicated spot on the upper of lower storage trays).  This greatly reduces building time for a new project. How often to inventory is a more complicated questions.  Most teachers inventory the kits at the beginning and end of a semester/quarter.  Many teachers prefer to re-arrange their team memberships throughout a course and if this is done between building projects, this a also convenient time to inventory the kits.  The question of how to inventory also has alternative solutions.  An exhaustive inventory for all 600+ parts using the attached NXT Placard pdf's (from Instructor's Guide in the NXT Kit Overview lesson) can be quite time consuming.  Some teachers prefer to do a periodic inventory of just the key elements in the kit.  To speed this approach up, Ray Gutierrez (Washington Middle School, Olympia, WA) created the attached 8.5x11 sheets with the key elements from the kit. Students place these three sheets on their desk and lay the indicated parts on each sheet.  This allows Ray to periodically determine if all the kits are largely complete in a very timely manner.  Other teachers have used this approach, but with even fewer parts (just the most frequently used parts) included on the sheets.  Placing the components you want to inventory on a photocopier will create 1:1 scale inventory templates like these.  Placing then in sheet protectors allow easy mark-up of missing parts and they store easily under the bottom tray of the NXT kit.