Wednesday, May 23, 2012

You'll Never Use Textbooks The Same Way Again

Textbooks can be an invaluable resource in creating problems for your students to solve. This year I borrowed a creative problem solving challenge from Scott Allen

The challenge is easy.  

Students are to come up with some sort of structure using 3x5 index cards and 18 inches of tape.  The structure needs to be at least 1.5 inches tall and hold as much weight as possible.  The cards may be cut, folded, torn or modified in anyway that will make them useful in building a successful structure. 

I gave my students five notecards.  You could easily modify this challenge by changing the number or size of the notecards, the length and type of tape, the minimum size of the structure and or building time limitations.

The students had a blast and cheered each other on as each structure endured the weight of more and more textbooks.  The students came to enjoy the crushing WHOOMP made by the structures as the little pieces of notecard succumbed to the weight of the textbooks.

The winning structure for the day held 33 textbooks!  So, you see, you can use textbooks to teach students to work together, develop their problem solving skills and enjoy coming to your class.

You will never teach the research process the same when you pick up a copy of Stand Up! Speak Out from Prufrock Press.