Marshmallow Challenge with the ASPIRE Group20 sticks of uncooked spaghetti, 1 metre of string, 1 metre of masking tape, 1 large marshmallow, and 18 minutes in which to build the tallest structure that will support the marshmallow. This is the challenge that the ASPIRE class faced. Working in pairs they attacked the task with enthusiasm! The first successful towers were erected after just over half the time had elapsed. Interestingly enough, these were the only successful towers to be built within the time limit. Marshmallows, it seems, are heavier than they look!
After the challenge we discussed the difficulties the task presented and what worked for the two successful groups. The Marshmallow Challenge and the lessons learned from how people tackle it are described in this TED Talk by Tom Wujec. Interestingly, recent MBA graduates do consistently poorly on this challenge, while recent kindergarten graduates do consistently well. Last year the Penticton classes did the Marshmallow Challenge and I wrote about it here.
Radio ShowsThe Penticton grade 3 to 5s continued to work on turning their communication research into a short radio show. Many of the students are close to completion. We listened to some great work by the following students:
- 'Bug Talk' by Jordan and Braiden on how ants communicate
- Connor's show about binary and ASCII
- Nicola's breaking news about Braille
Each of these projects demonstrated key aspects of audio recording that we had been learning about; providing appropriate music / sound effects, speaking clearly, and making the material interesting and engaging. There are lots of other great projects nearing completion, and others we just didn't have time to listen to this week. Students will get to hear those when we meet again in January.
As I've mentioned on earlier posts, the grade 1 and 2 class has been doing a lot of work on flags. Last week they designed their own flags and drew sketches. This week we attempted to recreate their flag designs, first using construction paper and then using felt. This was more ambitious than I had anticipated, but the students were very patient and did a great job. We just didn't have quite enough time to finish all of the flags, but hopefully we will complete them in our next class in January. Below are photos of two completed flags.
Research, Audio and StorytellingThe AIM students continued with their communication research this week. Some of the students also started to learn how to use Audacity; the software we are using to record audio.
AIM students also tried their hand at writing and presenting 5 card photo stories. In previous weeks the ASPIRE class as well as the Penticton grade 5s did this same activity. Students were shown the photos below and asked to come up with and present a story to the class that involves all five of the images. We talked about the basics of a good story and then the students got down to it! We were treated with some very funny stories. After each story students were asked to give appreciations; pointing out what the storyteller did well in their story. Students are getting quite good at giving specific, positive, and constructive feedback!
Below are the photos that were the basis of the stories (link).