First Day of School Problem Solving Activity

Rated 4.74 out of 5, based on 42 reviews
42 Ratings
Laney Lee
Grade Levels
6th - 9th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Google Apps™
3 pages
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Laney Lee
Includes Google Apps™
The Teacher-Author indicated this resource includes assets from Google Workspace (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).
Easel Activity Included
This resource includes a ready-to-use interactive activity students can complete on any device.  Easel by TPT is free to use! Learn more.
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  1. If you’re new to education or maybe just to teaching science, and you’re feeling a little lost or overwhelmed, then this bundle is for you! I’ve compiled everything you’ll need to get through at least the first week of school successfully! Classroom ManagementEveryone knows you can’t start the year
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  3. Not sure how you'd like to start the year? Or just hoping to stock up on great ideas? Get all 3 of my best selling first day of school activities that will be sure to get your students moving around, talking, and working with their hands! Tower Building Engineering Activity - A perfect STEM activity
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Looking for something you can do to break the ice on the first day without having to gather a ton of materials? Worried that students are gong to die of boredom if you do one more presentation on procedures and expectations? If you answered yes to either of those questions, the tower building challenge is the answer to your problems!

Great for team building, inquiry, or scientific method practice, this resource is sure to bring up some interesting discussion and definitely provides a lot of practice for students in perseverance in problem solving.

In this resource, students are given a simple riddle to solve and a set of manipulatives (print or digital) to experiment with various solutions. The solution isn't as simple as it may seem, and students will likely be stumped and frustrated at first. Use this as an opportunity to talk about "stuck points" and how we can move beyond them.

How Can I Use this Resource?

  • first day of school introductory lesson
  • meet and greet for small groups or teams
  • middle of the year reflection on best practices for group work
  • brain break activity
  • time filler for a lesson that doesn't quite take as long as expected

Who is this Resource For?

This resource can be used by classroom teachers of any grade or subject with in person students.

What's Included?

Purchase includes a printable PDF file in color with answer key. On page 2 of this resource you will find a link to a student friendly Google Slides version of this file. You will be able to copy this file and use it with Google Classroom or any other paperless initiative.

Please take a look at the preview file to see more of this resource.

More questions?

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If you're interested in this resource, consider purchasing my Inquiry Unit Bundle for more bang for your buck! Includes all the activities, lessons, and assessments you need for a skills based Inquiry Unit, including this product.


Some other fun ways to get kids moving and having fun with science:


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Total Pages
3 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
45 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.


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