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Build to Write

August 31, 2013

We have been back in school for 8 days.  For most of those days, I have had students attempting to build marble runs.  This was not a teacher directive.  They just love playing and investigating with marbles.

Today I challenged my students to either build a marble run or a tower. As they built, they had to record directions.  The project was a great success.  The students were engaged and they truly took a scientific approach to building and writing.

They were engineers.  This student combined two blocks using a rubber band so that the marble would roll over the blocks.

They were engineers. This student combined two blocks using a rubber band so that the marble would roll over the blocks.

Some finished while others still want to continue to recreate.

Some finished while others still want to continue to recreate.

They shared and taught 1st graders how they built it.

They shared and taught 1st graders how they built it.

They were unique and authentic.  This was a Greek house.  Now another student wants to learn about Greece.

They were unique and authentic. This was a Greek house. Now another student wants to learn about Greece.

Most importantly, they had fun collaborating and writing.

Most importantly, they had fun collaborating and writing.

Some chose to make small marble runs.

They deliberated as they collaborated.

They deliberated as they collaborated.

They measured as they built.

They wrote detailed instructions.

They wrote detailed instructions.

They were creative.

They were creative.

photo (15)Student Choices: partner choice, space choice, tool choice, building choice

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. bvillemama permalink
    August 31, 2013 3:19 am

    Another awesome idea! I so wish my son would have you as a teacher one day!!

  2. Erica permalink
    August 31, 2013 10:47 am

    Ditto! Amanda would have loved you!

  3. September 26, 2013 11:17 pm

    Hi, Mthorton78 (if that’s you’re real name, which I suspect is not the case)!
    I was referred to your great post by MakersEd, who noticed that you’re exploring the relationship between working with materials and literacy – something we’ve been investigating at Opal School. I think you might enjoy exploring some of our videos (especially http://bit.ly/17AS9ZK) and other resources (check out our blog at http://opalschoolblog.typepad.com for those links.) Let us know what you think!

    • October 17, 2013 10:17 pm

      Sorry for the late reply. I look forward to looking over your site. Thanks for the post.

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