Attendance today was very low in the school. When I found out that less than half of my students was there today and less than a third of my teaching partner’s class was there, I knew the regular plan for the day was not going to work. During our prep this morning, my teaching partner and I chatted, and we decided that we would try something different during the middle block that incorporated both math and science. We’re working on perimeter in math and flight in science, and both topics lend themselves well to building, so why not build?
We created an Egg Drop Contraption Design Challenge.
Students worked individually or in small groups to create and test their contraptions. As the project evolved, we realized what wonderful discussions students were having, and we just had to record them to capture this purposeful talk. Why not share it with the world as well? This is how the #ultimateeggdropchallenge hashtag evolved.
It was great to see teachers, parents, and students contributing to the hashtag, and retweeting and favouriting the tweets that were shared. In retrospect, it would have been good to get the students to reflect on their contraptions in 140 characters or less, and add even more of a student voice to this Twitter chat. We also had lots of recording devices available, and it would have been neat to give one to each group, and have the students videotaping each other as they planned and built together. We’ll have to do this the next time.
Students and teachers had a lot of fun today, but we all got to apply what we’ve learned in math and science, while collaborating and problem solving together. Yes, our numbers were small, but we did the most with what we had, and captured some remarkable learning. Today also reminded me of the importance of hands-on learning, and that “play” needs to happen in all grades. How do you capture “playing” to ensure there’s learning?