Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

September 26, 2005

HO: Hats Off

Filed under: education — texased @ 7:50 pm
Hats Off

Judges Version
Problem Source:

This is a hands-on problem. You have one minute to determine which team members will solve the problem.

JUDGE READS TO TEAM (after participants are determined):

You will have 7 minutes to complete this problem. You may talk or ask questions at any time; however, time continues. At the end of 7 minutes, you will have one minute to present your solution to be scored.

Your problem is to design a hat that will have an alternative function when not being worn. You must use the materials given to design you hat. No other materials may be used.

Score will be as follows:

  • 1-20 points for creativity of the hat
  • 1-20 points for creativity of the alternate use
  • 1-20 points for team work
  • 1-20 point for presentation of solution

Materials and Setup

Give each team the following materials.

  • 2 paper bags
  • 3 paper plates
  • 5 cottenballs
  • 3 pipe cleaners
  • 5 styrofoam cups
  • 10 paper clips
  • 12 inches of string
  • 3 mailing labels
  • Scissors
  • Two colored markers or crayons
  • 10 pieces of spaghetti

Scoring Grid

Item Quantity Value Total
Creativity of the hat 1 – 20
Creativity of the alternate use 1 – 20
Team Work 1 – 20
Presentation 1 – 20

September 13, 2005

Baseball Cards

Filed under: education — texased @ 9:43 am

I use this activity as a way for kids to get to know each other, display creativity, and learn about revision. I ask the kids to create a “baseball card” for themselves. All I require is that it include their name and phone number since these will be distributed to all the other team members for contact information. When they bring their cards, we go over them as a group pointing out the different features of each card. I’ve seen everything from drawn pictures taped to index cards to computer generated cards.

After reveiwing the cards, you can take one of two approaches. In the past, I’ve asked them to redo their cards for next week and bring enough for everyone in the group to have one. The point is that no matter how good a card is, there is room for improvement. It’s also a way to find out how much effort each member is willing to put into improving their card. This year, I’m going to ask the teams to review the cards and decide on a format that all the cards should follow. Since I haven’t actually reached this point, all I can say is that I hope that this will be the start of learning group decision-making and accepting other people’s ideas. We’ll see.

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