Please let Brent (bjackson@srcs.k12.ca.us) know when you are planning to do this challenge in your class. We would like to come and observe, if possible.

Pre-lesson free play (15 min): Form teams of 3. Give each team of 3 some supplies: 5 sticks of spaghetti, a foot or so of masking tape, and a foot or two of string.

Teams of 3: mixed gender teams

Student roles may include: chief architect, testing coordinator, materials master, challenge captain, rapid reporter, time keeper...

Here are some supplies. Play with these with your team and see what you can make with them in the next 10 minutes.

**Purpose**

*Building STUDENT Maker Mindset & Standards for Mathematical Practice (SMP)*

“The lesson in the marshmallow tower challenge is that we need to test our designs early and often. That’s the mechanism that leads to effective innovation and design.”

In this challenge, students will...

- Collaborate
- Prototype-revise
- Document process
- Document learning: What was hard? Where did I get stuck? How did I get unstuck?

SMP 1: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them

SMP 3: Construct viable argument and critique the reasoning of others

SMP 6: Attend to precision

SMP 7: Look for and make use of structure

**Reinforcing TEACHER Maker Mindset & Standards for Mathematical Practice (SMP) purpose:**

Teachers will stay out of the way of students’ rapid design work, trusting they will make progress and stay engaged in the task. Do not intervene during the 18 minute period. At any time, students are free to get up scout other teams (observe or ask questions of others).

To do so, it is suggested the teacher documents (photographing) students during the creation of the towers to chronicle diversity of design, and document students’ affective response throughout. You may also want to take anecdotal records.

You should specifically be on the lookout for evidence of the mathematical purpose for your grade level, as well as other grade levels’ mathematics content -- see below.

Only if a team is truly stuck, you might ask: what is working well/not here? Would it help to go see what other teams are doing?

### Assessment:

Evidence that guides on-going student feedback and supports instructional planning (especially instances for math follow up lessons)

- Take pictures/anecdotal records of team interactions (class climate)
- Take pictures of students’ towers (design)
- Take pictures/anecdotal records of SMPs in action (agency/authority/identity)
- Listen to student discussions, take down quotes.

### Teacher Reflection:

- Add an entry to your Maker Portfolio that includes at least two of your favorite photos of the Marshmallow Challenge tower/process (and two captions!) and a reflection on the activity. Feel free to address any of these prompts if you so desire:
- What was the hardest part of the challenge for students? What was the hardest part of the project for you as the teacher?
- What worked well for the students?
- What surprised you about the challenge?
- What would you do differently next time?
- What did students learn?
- How, if at all, does the Marshmallow Challenge support, influence, and/or revise your understanding of agency, authority, and identity?