Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The Global Cardboard Challenge Continues

The Global Cardboard Challenge continues. My somewhat small classroom is half full with large cardboard box creations. What were once empty recycled or flat moving boxes have become a multitude of arcade games made with left over bottles, balloons, plastic golf balls, Little Bits, Makey Makey, marbles, more cardboard, colored paper, handmade gift items, and more. Idea after idea grows and comes alive in this cardboard maze that is our STEAM Center.

Today we'll have the design meeting. I'll ask students what they need in order to complete their arcade games. We'll troubleshoot and share solutions. Then I'll pose the timeline--two more long mornings of creativity, then the outdoor arcade. Two boys in the class have decided to make the arcade part of their service learning project--a project in which they'll raise money for a good cause. At school meeting, they'll announce the arcade and teach students about the cause using a film or slide show as well as speaking in front of the 500+ student, teacher, parent audience.

Then on Arcade Day, the students will get to play all the games during their lunch recess. Keep your fingers crossed for a sunny day. If it's a rainy day, the classroom will become an arcade for the larger part of that day.

In the meantime, the creativity will continue along with the more traditional math and language arts learning experiences.

What now looks like a cardboard jungle is actually the home to lots and lots of good learning exhibited by students' words and actions:
  • Negotiating ideas, collaboration, team, and friendship.
  • Turning recyclables into toys and games
  • Making the games attractive and functional--artistry and design.
  • Physics and motion as balls, marbles, little cars, and other objects move about each game.
  • Problem solving when a first idea doesn't work and a new idea results or a material isn't available and doesn't work so new materials are evaluated and used.
  • Filmmaking and presentation as students photograph and film their creations and explanations. 
We have Caine and his film crew to thank for this incredible, creative, activity--an activity that will take greater shape and purpose in the days to come.