Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Marshmallow Challenge for 6th Graders...TEAMWORK, SUPPORT, COLLABORATION

The last day before break can be a bit tricky...for both students and teachers, that is!  We are all excited about the impending break from school, work, routine, the daily grind, etc.  I know that I really look forward to this time to focus on family, friends, and FUN!

Rather than a traditional end of day celebration with goodies, a craft, and a holiday movie, upon some Pinteresting I found the Marshmallow Challenge.  Check it out here:

Each group of students that arrives in August is a different crew than the one before.  We quickly realized this with this group.  While they possess some amazing attributes-teamwork, supporting one another, and collaboration are qualities that we are working to instill in them before they embark on the middle school.  For this reason, we decided to tackle the Marshmallow Challenge.

While we tweaked the true challenge a bit to fit the needs of our students, in a nutshell the students partnered up and given 50 minutes, teams needed to build the tallest free-standing structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. The marshmallow needed to be on top. 

We incorporated math into the task by requiring students to figure out costs of the needed materials including sales tax and then write a check to purchase their supplies.  This extended the time a bit, but made them participate in a life skill as well.

Before arriving in the cafeteria where we brought the entire 6th grade group to participate, I organized the bags of supplies to minimize having to count pieces of spaghetti, marshmallows, and measure tape and string.  Once we were settled, our team gave quick directions and the students were off to compute and create.  While I would have loved for them to have a reflection component, time flew by-so I will add that when we take on this project with next year's crew.

Take a look at the fun the students and my teammates had...clearly teamwork, supporting one another, and collaboration were in full effect!

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At Tuesday, 01 January, 2013 , Blogger sarah said...

This is so cool. I might be stealing it for an activity for these 3 days at the end of this week. Maybe Thursday, as I am getting the feeling a fair amount of our kids might be opting out of school on Weds!

At Wednesday, 02 January, 2013 , Blogger Erin Beers said...

Thanks, Ms. Sarah! I hope you had a great break! This activity was totally worth it-they had a blast. Although, Ziegler got a bit more into it than the kiddos! !) Happy New Year!


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