Summer SAVY 2018: Session 1, Day 3 – Dive into Design (Rising 1st)
We opened our morning by adding to our classroom concept map on measurement. Students made great connections to our new learning by adding strands to categories of measurement such as how things are measured, dimensions, and accuracy in measurement. Next, students did an activity where they sorted objects into categories that they created (I was looking for naming 2-D and 3-D objects and attributes). I observed a lot of wonderful collaboration and academic discussion. At first students sorted by type of materials (paper, plastic, etc.), then I challenged them to try a different sort and they sorted by shape. One student suggested to sort by “width” and when I asked what they meant, the student said by how thick it is. Students jumped right in and then the “a-ha” moment happened when they all said they sorted by 2-D and 3-D objects! Then students were asked to turn 2-D objects into 3-D objects by using 2-D nets to cut out, and fold into 3-D shapes.
Next, we looked at how swimming pools are made. Students were able to identify examples of structures and interrelated parts as well as how parts support other parts in the building process. This led to our activity on comparing length by rearranging parts through decomposing and recomposing parts. This helped students understand that structures can be broken up into smaller parts that connect to a larger whole. The example we used with our swimming pool is how pipes often have to zig-zag in a path to connect to the whole structure. This was a tough concept, but students did well with this abstract thinking. Another example we looked at to further understanding of this concept was the engineering design process that goes into the planning and construction of tree houses. We read a Scholastic News Magazine article of problems and solutions that engineers must grapple with when building around nature! Students loved this article. If you have never been to this website, it is well worth a visit: www.nelsontreehouse.com You just might be inspired to build a tree house!
Soon after, we looked at measuring with non-standard units of measure. This activity was great for students to understand the history of measurement! They quickly grasped the implications and consequences of situations where people all measure with differently calibrated units of measure such as a foot, a hand, etc. I loved this natural progression because yesterday one of the students asked “Why is a ruler called a foot when nobody’s foot is 12 inches?” How wonderful is that question!? After this activity we read the book “How Big is a Foot,” discussing the pros and cons of using non-standard measurement.
Our day ended with another fantastic addition to our swimming pool models, and additions to our measurement concept map based on our hands-on learning. This gets better every day!