Saturday, August 31, 2013

saving fred {a teamwork activity}

This first few weeks of school have been awesome.
I am loving my class!

Students can sit at any of five tables they feel like, as long as it is a smart place - you know, like not beside their best friend so they can talk about recess..! 
Each table has a team number above it. 
Students inquired as to why they were sitting in teams, and why I give them the choice to change seats as they wish.
We brainstormed "teamwork" and I got lots of definitions, examples, and real-life connections.
Great brain time!

Afterward, I told the class about my friend Fred, a gummy worm, who can't swim...

Fred went out boating one day in his generic plastic cup.
He made sure he brought his personal flotation device, a sour apple ring candy, because he knows how important it is to be safe.
He set sail. 
It was a great day. 
He was on the open seas...
When suddenly, a giant wave capsized his boat!
Fred panicked...he can't swim...
He managed, with all his gummy worm strength, to pull himself up on top of his plastic-cup boat.
He felt safe.
But how was he ever going to get back to shore?
Just then, he remembered his sour apple ring floaty!
But where was it?
As he peered around, Fred noticed it had gotten trapped underneath his boat.
Worried that he might sink with the boat and be lost forever, he knew he had to get that ring out of the boat and around his wormy waist before it was too late...

So that was the task: saving fred by getting him into his sour apple ring together.
But there was a catch: students could only use paper clips to touch and move things! 
No fingers, no hands, no other forces, just paper clips.
It was a really great time to see groups working together, strategizing, becoming successful, then setting the whole task up again and challenging themselves to try it again a different way.
With no teacher input!
I didn't ask them to try it again... they took that part upon themselves!
My heart soared.
Soared, I say!
Pretty confident this is going to be one great year in the Philippines.

- Amanda


  1. What a great activity! Did you have them document their work?

    Charlene/Diamond Mom
    Diamond Mom's Treasury

    1. Hi Charlene,
      I didn't have them document, but I've seen lots of resources for flow maps that could be used. I do like the idea of reflection afterward!

  2. I'm doing this with my kids next week, can't wait to see what they come up with :)

    Tales From Two 2nd Grade Classrooms

  3. Philippines! Wow! You get around:)
    I really like that activity. Thanks for sharing.

    Barbara @
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs