Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Are Your Students Up For a Challenge?! Extension Mini-Projects

It all started with a video that one of my students sent me... We were learning about capacity as part of our unit on measurement, and I had explained to the students that the units of capacity are like a royal family...the cup is the royal cat, the pint is the prince or princess, the quart is the queen, and the gallon is the king. This connection resonated especially well with one my students so much that he when he went home, he found a bunch of containers, sorted them into the units, and made a video to share with me. His video was ADORABLE, and I was so impressed with his initiative. Then I thought, "This is a great idea! I should have all my students do this!" and the Capacity Challenge was born! Though I made this an optional project, 18 out of my 27 students took on the challenge and sent me their own videos. The Capacity Challenge ended up being beneficial for all of my students because I shared each video with the class, which exposed them to different variations of cups, pints, quarts, and gallons (i.e one student shared how ziplock bags come in different units). Students who completed the Capacity Challenge earned a medal to wear for the day that I customized to say "I completed the Capacity Challenge!". Students also signed their name on our Capacity Challenge List where I had QR coded their videos.

The Capacity Challenge was so fun that I posed a second challenge to my students for our science unit Living Systems...The Plant to Product Challenge! Students investigated a product in their home that was made from a plant and then researched the process from plant to product. Then the students shared their challenge with the class exposing all students to important plant products. Some students made a video while others made a poster and brought in a prop/artifact to accompany their brief presentation. Some students were general with their research while others were more specific. I made the challenge's requirements open-ended so that the challenge would be accessible to a range of learners. If you're interested in the Plant to Product Challenge it's available in my TpT Store!

So are your students up for the challenge?! Good luck!

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