Friday, September 6, 2013

Building with the cards

Last spring I posted about building by folding index cards, or the business sized cards I cut, and creating sculptures with them.  I wanted it to be an early challenge for this year's class, and I asked them to build the tallest tower they could.  They had one day of learning to build and about 30 minutes for 3 days, to build cubes and connect them. They also wrote about the process.

Very quickly I saw some interesting behaviors.    I found that reusing a lot of the cards from last year required purging.  We found that many were just TOO folded and used to continue so the kids were folding new cards as they recycled ones from last year (those things were used everyday so it is VERY understandable that they needed to be replaced).  I also found that the first day was a struggle for many of them because it was a new idea, and a new way to move their hands.  There was frustration about the blocks collapsing, but after urging many to not give up, most of them moved on.  By the end of the week they were making a lot of connections and figuring out how to work together.

One group made these observations:


"S." wrote:
The challenge of “Building High” is to build the tallest building in the classroom. Our strategies were to make a tower, so we used 4 cubes as the support base, and then we just made the cubes so it could be the tallest in the whole class. But there were some problems in the group that made us want to change our mind about the building.

The thing that was hard about doing the project was keeping it together, building the cubes, and connecting it. We had lots of arguments and the tower fell overnight. We thought someone had sabotaged it. But, we forgot about it and kept building. The tower was too thin and the base didn’t support it enough. It always fell down. When we were finished, one of the people in our group wanted to put another block on top. I didn’t want that because it might fall down and it won’t be the tallest building. So, we stopped building and left it alone. We fixed the problems by taking some of the cubes down and using those as the base to support it.

I would change the structure next time by making the tower thicker and having a base that is thicker than the one that we had this time. But, I had fun with it and that is all that matters.

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