Math and Science Multi-age Projects
Children, and teachers, learn best when the environment is child-centered and makes use of integrated subject matter within the framework of a generative, process-oriented approach. The teacher should serve in a mentorship role. All the projects listed below were tied to core questions that the children researched which expanded their own world view. Many are multi-aged in nature with technology being but a tool, one of many, to express the required elements. There are marked advantages of having a cross-age ties. Aside from the affective "gee whiz" of being paired up with a child a different age, ownership and responsibility of all levels of students towards their own learning increases; the depth each child assimilated the information improves; and the students' abilities to work with others in a cooperative and supportive way are reinforced.
The Rube Goldberg Science Project-Spring 2004
What is a Rube Goldberg machine? It is a machine that takes a very simple method, like sharpening a pencil or eating a banana, and make it difficult. It is done by taking a group of ordinary objects and connecting them with a bunch of simple machines in a weird, but workable, way.
Knowing what people know takes many forms. In this case, rather than a written science test, the students had a chance to combine what they learned in language arts, science and technology into an exciting and fun project. It allowed them:
to be an inventor and use the invention steps they had learned.
to show how the Force science concepts can be used.
to demonstrates their knowledge of simple machines.
to use good ideas, organization and mechanics in an interesting paragraph explaining how their Rube Goldberg machine worked.
to be creative and artistic.
to construct something fun out of their heads using materials that they could find around their homes.
Each child had the option to build a working model of their machine along with a poster and every child constructed a web page that required them to take a digital picture and manipulate it.
Math- A State of Mine and MathMagic Spring 2001
Mathematics, Logic, Researching and Technology
"Within each one of us lives and breathes a real mathematician. Always. Everything mathematical was, and is, just made up by people like you and me. They were trying to make sense of what was going on around them. Just as you are. They tried to find the words and the rules that seemed to explain what they observed. Just as you do. Your job over the next few weeks is to discover how they did this and what they did. To get their number, so to speak." This multilayered project lead fourth and sixth grade students on a three week voyage of discovery about mathematicians using a co-authored web page called a Swiki.
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