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One of the best ways to get students to tackle a concept is to let them actually get hands on, designing and creating.Many teachers do not use these types of projects, because they take more time and effort than reading a book or watching a movie clip, but I argue that spending a lot of time to build a small understanding is better than spending a little time and not coming out with anything to show for the time spent.She believes in using quality teaching strategies and quality resources to create quality teaching moments that will resonate with her children, increasing understanding and a love of the learning experience.
Students read some words, look at some pictures, try some equations, and are expected to think about the problem at hand in critical and creative ways.
However, many of the students do not gain an understanding of the concept this way, so they do not have the critical thinking going on to understand, let alone answer, higher level thinking questions.
Some ways to tie creating instruments into your curriculum include: measurement (capacity and length), sound waves, vibration, descriptive writing, process writing (what were the steps you needed to make that sound?
), comparing and contrasting, and cultures of the world (what instruments are common in different countries/cultures? I hope some of these ideas will encourage you to use hands-on projects while building up those critical thinking skills.
), following a recipe, descriptive writing, persuasive writing (the nutmeg-flavored yogurt is the best because…), comparing and contrasting, mixtures vs.
compounds, and cultures of the world (what flavors are common in different countries/cultures? My personal children are constantly making my pots and pans into a rock band.If you set some guidelines for your students, building buildings can have a lot of educational benefits and can increase their critical thinking skills.Some ways to tie creating buildings into your curriculum include: working on measurement (area, perimeter, etc.), working on place value (let them count out the right number of your base 10 blocks and then build the highest tower with it), physics, history (re-create or re-design important buildings from history), team building, and writing (put 10 minutes on the clock, let them build for those 10 minutes and then write about the experience, or take a picture of what they built and let them write a creative story about who might live in their structure). Building planes, boats, and cars are great ways for kids to get thinking about their own thinking.Building vehicles often means that at the end of the project, students have a race or a contest with their vehicles.Be sure to take some time to talk about how great inventors must re-design their projects many times, so even if their design doesn’t work the first time, they may be able to tweak it to work better next time.We often think of “playing” with blocks as simply a preschool activity.However, older students love to build with blocks, legos, and other building materials – even non-traditional building materials like mini marshmallows and toothpicks or paper clips and Q-tips.Some ways to tie creating vehicles into your curriculum include: measurement (how far did the plane go, how long did the boat stay afloat, etc.), famous inventors, physics, float vs.sink, aerodynamics, friction, simple machines, etc. Kids love to cook, and we all know how great working on following a recipe is, but how about getting really creative with food?Take plain frosting, pudding, or yogurt and flavors to find the difference.Once students are used to one flavor, try mixing two flavors.