Summer School 2015 Reflection

Posted: June 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

This past month I have been working summer school. I did a project that I have done before (find the other reflection here). Last time I incorporated all subjects in 3.5 hours a day for 2 weeks. This time I had a little under 2 hours/day for 4 weeks. It sure does make a difference on how I taught everything.

Using Tiny Tower App was again a hit. Students really enjoy playing the game and discussing why they are building the floors that they have. Allowing students to just explore the game and build, they learn what helps them make more coins or bucks. Once they figure it out, they start sharing with their friends. I don’t have to tell them anything except to follow the directions to get started. After that, they are free to play and share with each other. Throughout the month I had them keep track of how many floors and residents that they had each day and then we created graphs at the end of the month to compare their towers. There are many other activities you can do, bur this is what I had time for this month.

During the building of the popsicle stick towers, students were in groups and each group was given a budget of $1,000. At the beginning of the month, we had the following prices.

  • bundle of 50 regular sticks — $100
  • bundle of 10 regular sticks — $15
  • bundle of 10 large sticks — $25
  • (salad dressing) cup of glue — $40
  • glue stick — $25

Many students worked day to day with the warning that prices could change. After a couple of days, students were paid based off of how well they completed other activities in class. (We had workbooks to work through with different math topics) Prices also were changing at the store. Prices changed based off of supply and demand. It helped them to understand that sometimes planning ahead helps. Toward the end of the month, the prices were going up. There were a couple of groups who talked and were not quite to the required minimum height of 10 inches.

The last time I did this project, I told students to research on the iPad before they began building. This time I just told them to plan. Just about every group this time used the same method. For next time, I would tell students to turn in their designs and they have to stay with them. I could also tell students that the Lincoln Log style (which every group used this time) would not be allowed. That would get them to be more creative in their designs.

Overall, the month was great I enjoyed watching the students work together, build, tear down (yes, more than one group destroyed part of their tower throughout the month) and be creative.

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