Solving Real World Problems

All of the small groups met as a whole class about once a week to share their findings and update each other on their research and activities.Throughout this two-month project, students were engaged in meaningful learning.

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This group of students prioritized the major needs for the project, determined approximate costs, and organized a presentation of their proposed changes.

They then practiced the presentation in front of their classmates.

They used art, mathematics, and design technology to build a model of the playground.

Strong communication skills were necessary for the presentation for the Parent Teacher Club.

Rather than studying a hypothetical problem in a textbook, they were examining a problem that mattered to them and to their local community. At the same time, students drew from different curriculum areas or disciplines to work on the project.

Students were using mathematics as they figured the square yardage of the playground.

Understanding is about making connections among and between things, about deep and not surface knowledge, and about greater complexity, not simplicity (Perrone, 1994)." Real-world problem solving is a philosophy of teaching and learning through which students work together to solve a problem of priority to them and to their community. Real-world problem solving requires input from experts in the field and access to current knowledge.

Students no longer look for a quick or short-term answer.

Covering an entire bulletin board in the classroom are representations of the survey results shown in bar graph and picture graph format.

Some students decided that grass needed to be planted to reduce the mud on the playing fields so they measured the playground and used mathematical formulas to determine how much grass seed would be needed.

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