Communication is key with when working in a team and your students may find that they are calling their LEGO pieces all different names. Having a consistent name for each piece can help ease communication between group members and between teachers and their groups. Its hard to point out what's wrong with a robot when all a teacher can say is "you put the gray piece in the wrong place." Some of these names may seem a little technical but use of them will help your groups greatly.
These are Straight Beams. They each have a length ranging from 3 to 15. The easiest way to denote them is saying the smallest is a "straight 3 beam" nothing it is 3 holes long.
These are Angled Beams. In the 9797 kits there are only these Large Angled Beams and Small Angled Beams.
These are Corner Beams, called so because they make a right angle. They also come in Large and Small.
These are Brick Beams. They are shaped like long LEGO bricks but have holes like beams. These also come in various lengths ranging from 4 to 16. The longest one would be called a 16 Brick Beam.
These very important pieces are Axels also called Plus Rods. These come in several different lengths. The 2 Axels are the small red ones, from there on all even length axels like the 4 Axel to the 12 Axel are black, while the odd lengths are gray like the 3 Axel and 5 Axel. .
These pieces are Axel Connectors, they can connect 2 axels to make 1 longer piece.
These are called Perpendicular Axel Connectors but for the sake of a younger class you can call them Sideways Axel Connectors, These have many uses but students tend to shy away from them.
These are Pins. The small colorful ones are Axel Pins, they have an axel on one side and a pin on the other, useful for when you want an axel coming out of a pin hole. The bottom ones are Long and Short Pins, and the ones in the top right are Bushing Pins, an axel can be inserted into them converting it into a pin.
These are Bushings. They slide along axels to hold them in place. The gray ones are Bushings and the Yellow are called Half Bushings.
These LEGO Bricks are the pieces your students will be most familiar with. As for naming them its best to call them by their length and width dimensions. The 2 bricks at the top would be called a 2 by 2 Brick, the one to the left of them would be a 1 by 2 Brick. The ones below work the same way but are Flat Bricks, the longest one would be called a 2 by 8 Flat Brick.
These are the 4 Sensors, Sound, Sonic, Light, and Touch. As well as the cords that connect them.
Last but certainly not least the NXT Brick and the Motors.