Tag: design project

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Marshmallow Physics

You Want Us to Do What?!?!

Among students at my school, I am famous for making them build bridges out of popsicle sticks. [Or infamous… however you want to look at it.] Then we break the bridges by hanging free weights to see how strong they are.

So when I recently told my students that we would be building more bridges, I got eye rolls so big that eyeballs nearly rolled right out of their sockets. I heard Do we hafta? way more than once or twice.

When I pulled out the supplies, a magical glow quickly filled the room and immediately, seventh graders become eerily quiet. But let’s get real… that only lasted for about one breath. Then… raucous joy.

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Yes. We are going to build bridges out of marshmallows and toothpicks.

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Green Hands Brigade

#DesignThinking in Action

ICYMI.. this is how it all started: HMW start a recycling program at our school?

Green Hands 2A fiery group of 7th grade math students want to make a difference at their school, so they have decided it’s time to put the words into action. All it took was a bunch of empty copy paper boxes and some green paint.

We worked through the design-thinking process:

Empathy — Define — Ideate — Prototype — Test.

MindMaps led the way as each student took a turn writing ideas and questions on the whiteboard. After a lot of excited discussion and strategizing, they are ready to test the plan.

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Towers of Power

One of the hardest things to figure out from social media is whether or not something is real. And even more important, if what you find is accurate.

Most definitely, there are trusted sources of news and other information that we can turn to for facts and a variety of data. But in the world of internet, everyone has a voice and sometimes that collective voice is loud and overwhelming.

20150917_150811For this blog post, my point is this:

As a teacher, I have no idea how anything I do in my classroom compares with what happens in other teachers’ classrooms.

Why? Because in the social-media-cybersphere, everyone else has brilliant students doing amazing work with unlimited physical resources and enthusiastic support from everyone involved in the educational process.

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#GeniusHour

Great Idea

Genius Hour is taking hold in the innovative corners of education-world. Seems like it’s more popular in elementary classrooms where students spend a good chunk of time in the same space versus high school rooms where students typically travel six or seven times a day. Genius hour fits easier into the extended block of learning time rather than into a core class which focuses on about an hour of same-subject instruction.

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What is #DesignThinking?

It Begins With Empathy

Puzzled looks…reactions of disinterest…blunt statements of I don’t know what you are talking about.

Design Thinking cannot be explained easily because Design Thinking must be experienced. Although there are steps to follow in the DT process, it is more about the why and less about the how.

DT can be used to solve virtually any problem that may exist.