This lesson is the mid-point of a three lesson sequence where students are helping a local 6th grade class analyze data. Data is gathered for polystyrene boats (the 6th graders built and) designed with the goal of maximizing cargo hauling capacity.
The Rubric: The rubric I designed for this activity is extremely important. It is the bridge between the students' Knows/N2K’s and the final product and contains elements from a wide variety of learning outcomes. I encourage you to create your own point values however try not to get too caught up in this! I share rubric with students AFTER Knows/N2K’s is so that the Know’s/N2K’s drive student motivation and NOT the rubric requirements. Using rubrics might be new to you and may take some getting used to however I highly recommend using them when you want to have students explore a variety of approaches and deliver innovative products.
Rubric Roll Out: I hand out 1 rubric per group and ask them to quietly look it over with their partner. I also ask them to take out their Knows/N2K’s to see how they align with what is on the rubric. This activity usually doesn’t take much guidance from the teacher, especially if the rubric is well written. You will likely get one additional N2K, however, when the students ask how they are to present the final product to the 6th graders. At this point, I explain to the students that it is up to them, but we talk about possible options together as a class: Video (my students and Riverview both have IPAD’s), written report, posters, etc.
*Please Note: The rubric outlines the major content to be investigated by the students. Because this is a student-driven lesson series, they may be requesting workshops on the statistical concepts that they are unfamiliar with. While the entry document is nice to set the stage for the event, the rubric is a great tool to further drive content-specific Need to Know's.
It is important for the students to learn to be good collaborators, and good planners. It is for this reason that I continually prompt them to revisit their next steps. I tell the students that tomorrow is the last day that they will have to work (in class), and that I am only giving them the first 25 minutes of class to get things finished up. The second half of tomorrow’s class will revolve around sharing out their approach to the mathematics and their method of communicating to the 6th graders. As students head out the door, I ask one of the partners in the group for their next steps in the project. This lets me figure out who might need the individualized attention tomorrow and it gives me a checkpoint to visit groups to confirm they are working on what they said they would be working on. Many students will take a portion of the activity home to work.