Thursday 27 October 2016

Treasure Maps!

After the talk with my class last week about how they were bored doing the same kinds of tasks all the time, I wanted to change it up for them a bit..

I planned to teach them about orientation and direction (as per our maths overview for term 4), but through a project-based learning model. 
The project..? Making treasure maps!

I intended to do a small bit of this project everyday, finishing on Thursday (as I am not at school on Fridays). However because of testing and practising for the testing, it didn't happen. Instead, we started and finished within a day. We had to move quite quickly through the content, but as it was a range of different 'stuff' for the kids to do, they were far from bored. At times they struggled to keep up with me..

Firstly, I introduced the challenge. 
(To be honest - the kids seemed quite confused at having been given a challenge, it was kinda funny. They are clearly not used to this kind of learning).

We talked through the first few slides from here. We watched the clip on slide 6, then went outside to practice our understanding.

As our practice, I included this game as a physical kinaesthetic activity, and the kids did request more games and they wanted to go outside more. Perfect solution!
If you have ever played Captain's coming, it is the same game, just with changed labels.

After morning tea, we worked through slides 8-12. Slide 12 asks students to record a video of themselves explaining what the directions were to a buddy. This was crazy! All the kids of course needed a quiet space so their voice could be heard, so they spread out through the class, corridor, staff room and stairwell foyer. I gave them only 5 minutes to do this, as we had to work quickly in order to finish within a day. Most managed to complete this, however didn't have time to actually put it onto the slides (it takes a lot of work to do this..).

Next, we worked through slides 13-25. These kids have learnt about measurement/length before, so we did a quick recap so they could remember.

Next - the students formed their own groups and we went outside. I gave them 20 minutes to plan their treasure hunt for the other group.

Although again, this was crazy, with kids everywhere outside, it was preeeeeettty awesome. I did not facilitate any of the groups - they did it themselves. I wondered around, taking snippets of footage and checking in with them.

I gave the Ipad to one of the groups, who after a bit of help went off without me and continued working.
 I LOVE their footage - just them talking within their own group, counting the number of steps together, recording, discussing etc. 

Once they had completed their maps, they gave them to me for safe keeping and went off for lunch.
After lunch, I had set up the 'treasure' (bags of chocolate) and sent off one kid from each group to hide it according to their map. We went outside again, and I swapped the maps between the groups. And off they went!

All the groups except one found their missing treasure by following the steps on the map. The group that didn't, couldn't, because the person who had hid the treasure, didn't hide it where the map said it would be (ugh!). 

Although it was crazy, and rushed, it was a great day of learning - and something I hope the kids remember. Without realising it, as they were so caught up in the 'map' business, they had learnt about orientation, direction and position, they had revised measuring in cm's and what to measure in what unit. What surprised me, and made me most happy, was the teamwork the kids showed. I didn't help any groups beyond correcting their unit of measurement or offering a suggested starting point to one group (e.g. the cone), they did it completely themselves. I love in the videos how you can see and hear them working together. They were patient, they took turns, they discussed, they disagreed and agreed, negotiated, proved, etc.

Because of all the inter-personal learning that was happening, it made this activity much richer than I had even intended it to be.

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