This year, the first day of school was a little different at my school. Instead of having the kids go to all of their classes, we met in our advisory groups and did team building activities all day. There was a pizza party at lunch and an ice cream party after school. Overall, it was a pretty fun day for the kids. I’m still undecided about how I feel about it. While the day was fun, I’m not a huge fan of seeing the kids in that type of situation before I get the chance to lay out my expectations in class. It think it might have been better at the end of the first week.
The first hour and a half that we were in our groups, each teacher could plan what they wanted to do with their group. After that, we went through a rotation of activities. I knew I wanted to do some sort of hands on activity and decided on The Marshmallow Challenge.
The Marshmallow Challenge
- 1 marshmallow
- 20 pieces of spaghetti
- 1 yard of masking tape
- 1 yard of string
- 18 minutes
Build the tallest unsupported tower you can. The marshmallow must be at the top.
I split my students into groups of four. If you had uneven group sizes, I would make the groups smaller, rather than larger. In groups of four, each student got building time. I didn’t have a yardstick or meter stick in my classroom, so I just gave each group pieces that were the same length. My groups didn’t find the string very helpful. Now, 18 minutes seemed a little long for them to build. Most groups finished what they were able to in less time. If I did this again, I’m not sure I would give the full 18 minutes.
The tallest tower was 16 1/2 inches. I wasn’t super impressed. If you’ve done this with your students, I’d love to hear how tall theirs were!