Friday, September 4, 2015

The Marshmallow Challenge!

I had a great, fun and busy week! I think the highlight was today when students completed The Marshmallow Challenge. When I stood in front of the class and announced that we would be completing this challenge, I was a little disappointed when I got a giant round of applause and kids jumping out of their seats because I was hoping this would be the first time they did this. Well, it was. They were just super excited about the fact that we would be using marshmallows with whatever I was planning to share with them! Kids are awesome.

The idea behind this activity is for students to work with a group on a challenge and recognize things about themselves as participants and things that happen during the challenge that were both successful and unsuccessful.

The Challenge

I divided groups into 4 and 5 students each. I handed them a yard of tape, a yard of string, 20 sticks of spaghetti, scissors and a marshmallow. Their challenge was to build the tallest free-standing structure with the marshmallow on top. They could use all or just some of the materials provided. They also were only given 18 minutes. This really put the pressure on!

The Outcome

Only 2 out of the 4 groups built a successful structure. One group came close, but it kept falling down and couldn't be measured. The second group had a bit of a problem with communication when it starting coming down to the wire and completed a base structure which was only part of their plan. Students were able to recognize these things through discussion and by the end of the conversation, everyone was smiling and laughing and agreed it was a fun activity!

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