The realization that knowledge is created when engaged in a relevant activity is one of the most important for any teacher. Providing students with an opportunity to experience real life in the classroom is the reason for teaching. For the most part of our last semester we have been working on projects and the following is an article written by one of our 7th graders about the experience:
After the success of the Aurasma project, our seventh grade class faced yet another challenge. This time, we had to stand in the shoes of architects, designers, and construction workers as we tried to create either an aquarium, or a fashion runway. After the blueprints were ready, we were supposed to figure out the measurements and the materials we needed. From that, we made a budget to cover our expenses and while the project was complicated and time-consuming, we had the aid of modern technology.
We were able to find various apps to help us make the design of our blueprints. One of those apps was ‘Home Design 3D’.This app allows you to create 3D blueprints and fill them with furniture and constructions materials from a wide selection. The application was also good for changing the kind of view you want to have on your design, whether that is 3D or 2D. Another application we used was ‘Roomle’, which some students preferred because of its better detail.
Part of the class, however, chose to realize the project in the old fashioned way and make the blue prints by hand. These students, including myself, had to measure different structures of our school to get an idea of the measurements we would be working with.
As the project comes to a finish, and the students start preparing for the final presentation, you can clearly see how proud everyone is of their individual work. In the end, we learned a lot about the process of construction, the money required to construct these buildings, and the hard work it takes to actually plan an aquarium/or fashion runway. Now, we also know more about shapes and design that we did at the start of the project, and overall, I think we did an awesome job.
It is simply amazing how much we learn from the students when we give them room to use their creativity and genius. Most of the apps that they used were unknown to me and for the most part for them also, but that didnt stop them.
Do you use projects in your class? why?