Reflection: Diverse Entry Points Build A Paper Tower Challenge (Part 4)--Testing our Towers - Section 3: Exploring--Testing Our Towers


I made three different forms of the Measure and Test recording page, each with a different level of scaffolding, so your children can attain this knowledge at the level that is right for your class.  

  • Form A--all of the testing parameters and guidelines have been filled in.  The children conduct the tests, and then write down their results.
    • Example:  If your tower holds over 41 pennies it means your tower is super strong!
  • Form B--The children need to fill in some parameters of the test and some of the guidelines.  The children need to fill in the intentionally left blanks and then write down their results.
    • Example:  If your tower holds _________ pennies, it means it is super strong!
  • Form C--the children decide on all of the parameters of the testing, including the guidelines.  They also record their results.
    • Example:  The children decide how the pennies are placed on the towers.  They also fill in the blanks--If your tower holds __________ pennies, it means it is super strong!

With my students, I am choosing Form B, in which the scaffolding level is controlled, but has options.  In reality we are deciding the guidelines during discussion, but I am leading them to what is already written down.  In this way, they have made those decisions, but the children don't have to write down such things as "Put a small paper plate or cup on top of your tower.  Place pennies on it one by one," since that would take a considerable more amount of time, which is very limited.  But I have included that option in case your students are ready for that step.  

  Diverse Entry Points: Different Forms for the Same Worksheet
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Build A Paper Tower Challenge (Part 4)--Testing our Towers

Unit 5: Building Towers and the Engineering Design Process
Lesson 14 of 16

Objective: SWBAT test the tower they have built to identify its strengths and weaknesses. They will analyze the results in order to propose improvements.

Big Idea: We can test our tower to find out its strengths and weaknesses so we can then improve on our design.

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testing strength
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