**Team Building Lesson — If You Build It…
**

__Overview__: Students will progress through multiple rounds of building a structure under different constraints.

__Prior Knowledge/When to Teach__: Use at any time throughout the year – can be used as an introductory activity at the beginning of the year.

__Standards/Objectives/Outcomes__: The objective of this lesson is for students to work together toward an end goal. This team-building exercise is designed to contain multiple rounds so students can learn from their previous trials, as well as experience a round where students have different roles in the group. The final objective with this lesson is for students to reflect on their experience and ultimately learn from their time working in a group.

__Materials__:

- Mini marshmallows (enough bags for one per 4-person group)
- Spaghetti (enough boxes for one per 8 students)

__Timing__: This lesson will take 60-90 minutes.

__Outline__:

- Divide students into groups of four randomly (especially if done at the beginning of the year, since student demeanors are probably unknown).
- Each group will have one package of mini marshmallows and half a package of spaghetti.
- For each of the following rounds, students have either a different end goal, or a different means to the end. They will be allowed to use up to 30 sticks of spaghetti and 30 marshmallows. They have 8 minutes to complete each round.
- Possibilities for different rounds (with suggested progression):
- No talking! Students must build the tallest structure possible without talking.
- Talking this time, same goal of building tallest structure.
- Build a structure that can hold my empty water bottle (a large Nalgene) for 10 seconds at least 12 inches above the ground/table.
- Two students in the group are blindfolded. They are the only ones allowed to touch the building materials (and thus the only ones allowed to build). The other two students are not blindfolded, but cannot touch the building materials. This is a competition to build the structure to be at least 30 inches the fastest (it must stand for at least 15 seconds before falling below that height).

- In a group or class discussion, answer the following questions:
- What difference did not talking versus talking make in your progress?
- How did blindfolding two students change the group dynamic?
- Which round was easiest for you/your group?
- Which round was hardest for you/your group?

__Assessment__:

Individually, students journal about their experience and answer the following questions.

- In what ways did your small group support you?
- What roles did you serve in your small group?
- How did your knowledge of your group members change throughout the activity?
- How did your knowledge of the activity/goal change throughout the activity?

__Teacher Notes__:

Keep the time between rounds short – keep the experience running continuously, then discuss at the end.

**Jigsaw – Conic Sections
**

__Overview__: Students will work in groups to become experts on the geometric and algebraic components of three different conic shapes: parabolas, ellipses, and hyperbolas. They will split up and share this knowledge with (and learn from) two experts from the other conics.

__Standards/Objectives/Outcomes__:

HSG-GPE.A.2 Derive the equation of a parabola given a focus and directrix.

HSG-GPE.A.3 Derive the equations of ellipses and hyperbolas give the foci, using the fact that the sum or difference of distances from the foci is constant.

__Prior Knowledge/When to Teach__: Students should be familiar with graphing equations and multi-variable equations.

__Timing__: 3 days. 2 days to work in expert groups, 1 day to share in learning groups

__Materials__:

- Computers
- Expert Sheets (one per student)
- Instructions for paper folding (enough of each for 1/3 of class)
- Compasses (enough for 1/3 of class)
- Rulers (enough for 1/3 of class)
- Patty paper (enough for each student to have 3 pieces)

__Outline__:

Day 1

- Randomly split students up into three groups.
- Each of these groups will study the same conic sections.

- Each person will have an Expert Sheet with questions, resources, and prompts that they will need to be able to answer and explain to their classmates who are
*not*learning about this conic. - Give students 30 minutes to look through the resources individually and begin formulating their thoughts on how to answer the questions.
- In groups of 2-3, give students 15 minutes to discuss their findings and begin compiling their information.

Day 2

- In the groups from the end of class yesterday, students have the entire class period to construct 2-3 activities that will help them teach their group members the information that they learned.
- Teachers may want to suggest certain activities that students may use to help them teach:
- Hands-on construction activity
- Direct instruction
- Discovery questions
- Create their own mini-video that portrays their findings from their Expert Sheet.

Day 3/4

- Students are placed into leanring groups of 3 (assigned) where they will present their findings.

Day 5

- Individual journaling
- Polygraph game from Desmos to help students practice vocabulary. https://teacher.desmos.com/polygraph/custom/560ad28c9e65da5615091ec7
- Work in learning groups on a few practice problems, then discuss as a class by randomly calling on students from each group (make this known to students that this will be done be beforehand to increase individual accountability).

__Assessment__:

Assessment can come from a few different places:

- Answers from group practice
- Individual reflection on experience
- Were you enough of an expert on your topic (i.e. were you able to answer questions that your learning group had)? If so, what led you to that conclusion? If not, what could you have done in order to make yourself enough of an expert?
- In what ways did your small group support you?
- What roles did you serve in your small group?

- Content Evaluation
- How are parabolas, ellipses, and hyperbolas similar? How are they unique? Strive to provide at least 3 similarities and 3 differences that are unique (different from your classmates).
- Option: Desmos activity where students work with adjusting conic equations to match a given pattern. https://teacher.desmos.com/activitybuilder/custom/56030ac728462f1706872e72

- Exit/entrance ticket where students containing content-relevant questions:
- Find the foci of this parabola.
- Sketch this ellipse.
- What is the equation for this hyperbola?

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Cooperative Learning Lessons – Frydryk | EDT 622

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Courtney,

I am so intrigued by your lesson because it is cool to see what we teach in 7th grade connects to your material. We do cross sections in 7th grade where if we were going to “slice” a certain figure, what 2d shape is formed. This website shows some examples

https://www.mathsisfun.com/geometry/cross-sections.html

But it is cool for me to see where that idea is taken to a new level in high school. Thanks for posting the pictures so I could a visualization!

Oh, I love seeing those connections too, Kristyn! It is really helpful for me to know, especially with the other students, if/when/where they have seen bits and pieces of the new material we’re learning — anything to help them make connections is helpful!