A Classroom City

As we’re edging closer to the end of the year here in middle school math, we’ve been working on a big project.

We’re building a city!

Each student is creating a portfolio of their city design and components, and next week we’ll start actually building a giant cardboard model together.

Throughout this project, we’re hitting all of our geometry and statistics standards – the students are learning about circles, angles, triangles, surface area, scale drawings, nets, perspective drawings, volume, data representation, fair surveys, mean, median, and lots more – but they’re so in to designing their cities that I’m not sure they’ve actually noticed.

Over the last two days, we’ve been designing parks for our cities. Inspired by what actual landscape design looks like, we’ve been using lots of circles! (And doing some calculations, naturally…)

Loving this project so much! I’m so excited to be able to see our finished city.

STEM with Straws

IMG_20180202_145758087_HDR.jpg

In my problem solving class, we spend some time each week working on a recurring project – building stable towers with drinking straws. The initial goal is to get a golf ball to a height of one foot. No tape, no string, no glue – just straws.

IMG_20180412_163155762.jpg

My class of sixth graders has done super well with this over the last few weeks – one team got the golf ball a yard in the air, and then decided to just go for height. It’s taller than most of the students now…

Wishing you all a happy Friday!

Slide-Together Spheres

IMG_20180326_114020778.jpg

These are hanging above my desk right now, and they make me so so so happy.

I use slide-togethers like this as a puzzle for my students, often in a problem-solving class that I teach.

IMG_20180326_114045346.jpg

But all but one of these I made myself… They’re just fun!

You can find printable templates for these here. Both this site and the original creator of the puzzle leave the instructions intentionally vague, so I won’t get too specific either – you really do have to just puzzle it out!

IMG_20180326_124936304.jpg

A few tips:

Continue reading Slide-Together Spheres