Gravity Games-Kindergarten STEM

Mrs. Gladden's Class-November 2014

Getting to Know the Ramp

I gave students some experience with the ramp and various objects (some with wheels, some without) during centers. Students were able to test out objects on their own. The next day, we completed a demonstration/prediction chart together. Students made predictions about how each object would move down the ramp. Then we tried each object and recorded the result on a class chart. Just a note: it was Character Dress Up Day.

Hook: Help the Turkey Escape

After reading Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano, we decided to design a vehicle to help the turkey escape so he wouldn't be eaten for Thanksgiving dinner.

Constraints and Materials

I explained the project constraints and possible materials students may use and allowed each group to peruse the materials table before they began brainstorming/planning.

Difficulties

We used the cubes we have been using in our measurement unit to determine if our vehicles fit the size constraints. Due to the materials provided, many groups struggled to design a vehicle that fit within the size constraints.

More Difficuties

We did not have any groups who were able to successfully design a vehicle with rolling wheels. Only one group was able to design a vehicle that fit the size constraints, but it did not make it the 100cm. One limiting factor seemed to be the tape. The kiddos had a hard time making it do what they wanted it to, so they kept using more and more until their vehicle was a mess! Due to time constraints, we only had one group have enough time to try a redesign.

Reflection

I would love ideas/feedback for how to make this lesson work. The students were very engaged and invested in the project, but I wasn't sure how to support them without giving them too much support. I have thought of some different materials to add- the cardboard spools that ribbon is wrapped around might work. Would providing them with Lego wheels and axles as materials be too much support? I'm not sure if this lesson was a total flop because it might have been too advanced for my students developmentally, or if there is something I can do to support them better.