If you’ve been here for a while, then you are familiar with the Marshmallow Challenge that I’ve done a couple of times. Both of the previous times it’s been attempted in Rm. 202, though, it’s been with 5th graders. Well obviously I don’t have any of those anymore, so I wanted to see how my 2nd graders would rock this challenge.
Now, I must add that since most of us were here together last year, we had a little bit of an advantage, rather than doing with people who are relative strangers. The activity, however, was new to everyone.
I gave them the same directions and supplies as have been given before:
25 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of string, one yard of masking tape and a marshmallow
I put everyone together in our new Room Teams, and their first job was to create a name for their team (which is new for us–last year we just went with numbers). They were super creative, and came up with GREAT names like Cherry, The Blue Angels, The Legendary Black Dragons, The Golden Girls and the Lion Kings. Cool, right?
Ok, so next step was to plan. And that was fun to watch; each team had a different way of going about that:
Golden Girls making a plan
Cherry Team huddled at the short tables
Lion Kings kicking back and planning
The Blue Angels sketching their ideas
Legendary Black Dragons figuring out what to do
Once I said “GO” the fun began and the teams tried to create the tallest free-standing tower they could. I was SUPER impressed with how well each team worked together and also with how they built on each others’ ideas.
When time was called and everyone stepped away, only one tower was still standing:
But we did go ahead and give a 2nd place nod to the Legendary Black Dragons for the height of their tower before it fell. Check it out:
They admitted that they should have worked on making the bottom stronger. No worries! Next time. 🙂
Now…we could have walked away and left it there, but of course we could not. We had a debrief on what worked and what didn’t, and talked about plusses and deltas for that activity. Here’s our chart of what we said:
Our conversation after the challenge was perhaps the best part. We could have said that most groups failed and that just the tower that stood was successful, but we were not ok with that. We agreed that we had many points that proved that we were successful in spite of the fact that our towers fell over. We had focused on the process and the product was not the biggest deal. We have come back to this chart already a couple of times, too, and used some of the plusses for other activities together!
We’re excited to try again!