Planning Your Own Vacation
Yeah, the title pretty much sums it up. The goal was for the students to work with unit rates and decimal operations to plan a vacation, but it was clear that I had covered pretty much all of it. This was scaffolded so that the student who struggled the most could follow along with the lesson. My biggest mistake here was forgetting the rest of the class when designing the handout and creating a lesson that pigeonholed any true creativity from my students. Equipped with a cart of broken-down laptops, my students were able to get through the lesson, but I wish I knew then what I know now; here’s the lesson handout, dug up from the classroom cookbook of 2007:
First, I would start with a Would You Rather that focuses on travel. For example:
Second, I would pitch the students the entree:
Class, my family (of 4) would love to go on a vacation. We have $1,000 to spend and need to get away for no more than 3 days. Your goal is to plan the most epic vacation for us within those constraints and sell your idea to us using any form of media you choose. GO!
From that point forward, I would serve as the person poking holes in the travel arrangements that students try to set up for me and my family. Essentially, the work from the handout is the same, but it is up to the students to determine what is best:
Now that I’ve rendered my entire handout useless, I want to build it back up. This lesson is not a waste of time; there is a lot of value in what the students are being asked to do. More importantly, there is value in having a handout to assist the students who will need it without providing too much help for those who do not. With all that said, here is the new handout:
So what do you think? Where are the holes in this lesson? What would you do differently? Is this an upgrade, or simply changing the focus? I'm genuinely interested in your thoughts on this, so drop a comment, Tweet at me @jstevens009 with the hashtag of #classroomchef. Help me improve.
Happy "So Help Me I'll Pull This Car Over" Fishing