Reflection: Advanced Students Marshmallow Architects - Section 2: Independent Practice


Kids love making things. Allowing students to take what we’ve been discussing and sorting and analyzing for several lessons, and creating models of the 3D shapes, provides an opportunity to both making learning fun but also really challenge students’ understandings of 3D shapes.

Some things happened, which are 100% predictable for young students and the nature of this activity. A handful of kids get so caught up in the process of creating that they lose track of what they need to do to be successful in their creations.

Some students can visualize an end result but have difficulty with either the fine motor challenges or the structural demands of being responsible to create something specific.

Then, of course, as is almost always the case in kindergarten, there are the kiddos who zoom right through this activity and build their creation in 3.2 seconds. Of course, I get them talking about their work, because the discussions with individual students are critical.

Finally, the potential of peer-assisted learning in kindergarten is tricky but potentially powerful. If the “helper” follows rules of keeping his or her hands in her pockets when helping, what can happen for both students can be wonderful. The more skilled student is having to articulate steps in a process or tips to successful work, which is very challenging and will solidify his or her learning. The struggling student gets support but still has the experience of doing his or her work, and it’s win-win! The key is getting the helper to be hands-off.

  Rules for Help in Kindergarten
  Advanced Students: Rules for Help in Kindergarten
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Marshmallow Architects

Unit 8: 3D Shapes
Lesson 5 of 5

Objective: SWBAT use mini marshmallows and toothpicks to create models of 3D shapes.

Big Idea: Students demonstrate their understanding of geometric attributes of shapes, by creating shape models.

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6 teachers like this lesson
Math, Critical Area, models, three-dimensional shapes, shapes, two-dimensional shapes
  35 minutes
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