Monday, February 20, 2017

Teachers at School 2 and School 12 Learn to Stimulate Creativity by "Grasping at Straws"

The month of February was an especially interesting one for the teachers from School 2 and School 12 who attended workshops given by Art PIR Simone Sandler.  At left, Ms. Sandler stands before the materials she prepared for the workshop.

The focus of the workshop was a project-based lesson on how engineering concepts can be taught using simple objects like straws.  Straws are the perfect choice for school budgets:  inexpensive but versatile.  At left School 2 teachers work diligently on their creations.

The participants experimented by building towers, three-dimensional shapes, bridges, rockets and more to create science-math-art-engineering lessons ready for the classroom.  Ms. Sandler stressed that the use of manipulatives in a hands-on experience readily motivates students.  Students may be encouraged to try, and, if they fail, to try again--in other words, to take the risks that eventually lead to success.  

Participants were shown which straws work best, and how pipe cleaners may be used as connectors that are sturdy enough to support constructions.  Teachers left the workshops with concrete examples of lessons that could be adapted for various grade levels.

Teachers from School 2 proudly display their creations.
Teachers from School 12 were led by Principal Andre McCollum,
who shows off his effort,  a three-dimensional swing set.

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