Sled Manufacturing run - Different results with each of the four classes
Some of the jig failed during the process and students had to make due. One class didn't bother to do the math and cut 17 sticks into four equal parts for the bracing under the seat not thinking that they would get four braces from each stick, therefore needing a fourth of what they actually cut. This mistake cost them some sleds because they didn't have enough full sticks to make some of the other parts. Even though each class didn't make this mistake, I still discussed the issue with each class to make them aware of what could go wrong when planning is overlooked.
During the manufacturing run, students alter a few of the steps to save time. After the manufacturing run, they expressed areas of improvement to the procedures. Both of these elements were the key to the activity, making sleds had nothing to do with the learning taking place. Soon the students will make their own plan of procedures with the goal of doing a better and more complete job with theirs.
The managers were very different from class to class and the more hyper ones got the whole job done by the end of class. If the managers were not very planners, encouraging or task masters, then they fell short in production. They all had the same amount of time to prepare, set up and run the activity. This was a very interesting phenomenon to watch unfold. if not this activity, try to set up a manufacturing run for something else and give your students this leadership experience. They quickly see what a teacher deals with on a daily basis. ;o) Wendy
If you have done anything like this, send me a write up and some pictures to post here! firstname.lastname@example.org