This past week gave me a chance to try teaching the Box Project as a five-day workshop for 3-5 graders at UWM's College for Kids. Usually I have a whole year to teach kids to problem-solve and grow in their geometric and visual literacy.
Working with the thirteen kids whose parents paid for the class was very challenging, but also very rewarding. They loved the project, but also needed extra scaffolding since we were stuffing a lot into a week. Plus, they started with cubes and pyramids, but wanted to jump to cool designs that they really weren't ready for in just a couple days. But we tired it anyway.
Luckily, four former students of mine helped for four of the five days, which saved the class. They helped so much because I couldn't possibly scaffold so many kids at the same time, plus the four kids that helped knew their boxes. They probably could have taught the class themselves!
It's incredible to see how newer kids to boxes grab onto the idea and go after it. As a teacher who wants to challenge, engage and inspire kids, it's very rewarding to experience their growth, comments, and thank yous. Almost every kid wanted to take grid paper home with them when the class ended yesterday. Awesome to see!
© 2015 Peter J. Wilson
Peter Wilson teaches fourth grade at University Lake School, in Hartland, WI.