We settled on a fairly big bike project, where students would dismantle, reconstruct, and reinvent bikes and bike parts in new ways. The local community was quick to donate old and broken bikes for us to “fix”. As a result, all students have had hands-on opportunities to experience and create simple machines in new ways.
The students have made some pretty amazing connections. For example, a student had an “Ah HA!” moment while describing brakes as “friction”. Another student had a similar moment when they realized that the brake is activated through squeezing a lever. They are not just learning about simple machines - they are applying their understanding in novel, real-world ways. As experts, they want to share their learning to help others, so they will make simple machines and bike animations that show how tools and parts of bikes work.
Learn more about our Bike Project here: http://evergreenlearningcommons.weebly.com/grade-4-bike-provocation.html
Learn more about Design the Shift PD here: http://cbecap.blogspot.ca/2016/05/in-summer-of-2016-we-will-be-offering.html
Allison Predika and Mike MacKenzie are grade 4 teachers at Evergreen School in Area 5. They attended the Design the Shift Professional Development over the summer and seem to always been deep into one project or another.