I've got some great pictures to post, but the Spaghetti Bridge lesson is in the books for the year. I had a great Power Point, and great intentions, but I think there are some much-needed changes that need to be made to the lesson (or at least to the mind-set of the students). Here's the Power Point I created:
So, I set the students to work, and they took off like crazy fools. They were coming up with some WONDERFUL ideas and strategies. They had a variety of designs to their project, and they were working very well together. They were in and out of the classroom, trying to find supplies that they could use from other parts of the school - very resourceful students! They wandered over to other groups to get ideas, they called me over to their group to see if their idea might work. Like I said, TONS of pictures to document a definite "on-task" class period.
Not one of the groups used math to solve their problem. Every one of the 7 groups that were working together (and mind you, these are the most Algebra-ready students in the 8th grade) went towards a science standpoint. They tried to create a design that would hold the textbook, rather than testing the strength of spaghetti. Let me tell you HOW DIFFICULT it was to be the math teacher in the room, just DYING for them to make the connection to scatterplots and linear functions!!
Sigh! Fortunately, I'll be able to meet with colleagues next week to discuss how the lesson went in their classrooms. Maybe they can help my frustration!