This project has many, many ideas and suggestions for a teacher just getting started with Project-Based Learning:
What will you get if you purchase this project?
1) The 85 slide "Furniture Building Presentation" which includes the following:
a. A documentation of my entire creative process of designing my furniture from research and brainstorm drawings to construction and decoration of living space. I write down my questions in a "Think Aloud" fashion so that students can follow along with my design process.
b. My technical drawings where I analyze different possible designs and include measurements.
c. My construction process where I documented real-world problems such as Home Depot not measuring your wood right and Home Depot cutting it into odd shapes.
d. The finished products with me actually living in my apartment.
e. Student work that has resulted from my own project attempts with my students.
I have carefully edited photos so that they show the student work in the best detail possible.
2. Tips based on my experience (1 page). I even include my classroom layouts and the rationale behind them (1 page). Running a project-based classroom can be difficult and overwhelming. I have included some of my best observations from what to do with early finishers and slow workers as well as how to manage supplies and organization.
3. Standards and Objectives (3 Pages). These are different from state to state so I apologize if they are not helpful to you. I tried to be general so that you could tailor it to something more useful to you. I include some Language objectives as well as the different ways that my project is differentiated: by process and by product.
4. Student Lab Handout (3 pages): I included the .pdf so that you could see the proper formatting, but also the word document in case you wanted to edit some things out. In the student handout I include many, many suggestions for how a student could present his work.
The assignment flow basically goes like this: 1) Students view presentation, 2) Students do research, 3) Students do lab in class, 4) Students write report, & 5) Students present.
When I see Measurement and Scale assignments in other schools, I see drawings in the hallway: one of a small size and one of a larger size. This is ok, but I wanted something greater.
One summer I had to move into a small New York City apartment. I was inspired to look into furniture design and decided to build my own furniture to save money. I realized that I used a lot of measurement and math in order to create what I wanted and it dawned on me that it would be a great experience for my students.
I have seen many a physics book that says something boring like, "Take a ruler and measure your textbook." This doesn't really help students become good at measuring things.
With my project, students have to measure themselves and critically think about what is the best way to measure an aspect of themselves in order so that they can create an accurate miniature self. The project forces them into collaboration. There might be some students who try to do it all alone and not speak a word to anyone, but for the most part, this project will make students WANT to talk to each other about measurement. They might not be able to measure their arm right and balance the meter stick at the same time or they might want someone to measure their neck or torso so students have to learn the best way to measure an object that is multidimensional and complicated.
Many times, a worksheet can be a forgettable experience. Three dimensional projects are more difficult to forget, especially if you had such a good time building it. With these projects, students have an avenue for creative expression.
What is the likelihood that a student can show off their personality in a measurement project? Even with the drawing assignment mentioned in the beginning, students don't show personality. They are simply copying and transferring, not creating. This project demands that they innovate and say something about themselves. Students show off aspects of their personality without even meaning to.
Even if students choose to replicate something that they saw before, this project asks them to replicate it in three dimensions, which still offers a challenge.
This project challenges students on many levels, mathematically, artistically, creatively, emotionally, and even with technology if you choose to ask them to type up their report or present in one of the suggested formats in the student handout.
The beautiful thing about it is that it can be simple or it can be very complex. It all depends on what the students design and the standard of excellence that you set. I have included the best examples of student work so that your students are inspired to do only the best.
Even years after students leave my class, they still come around and marvel at the innovation in design that they saw while doing this project. This is definitely one of their favorites.
I wish you the best with this project and I encourage you to contact me with any questions you might have. Thank you very much for your time and patronage. Enjoy!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License