How can we design and construct the set and lighting for our opera without properly knowing the space we will inhabit, our stage? Set designers and electricians are busy making important decisions to bring our story to life. How many lights should be built? Where must they be placed on stage? What set pieces are needed to effectively tell our story and how will they fit in our small theatrical space?
All third graders in Montgomery County are currently learning measurement and fractions. We learn by doing. With a bit of knowledge about tape measures and how to record accurate measurements, the entire company set out to help our designers acquire the information needed to proceed with set and lighting construction.
The conversations we overhear during this period of hands-on learning reflect authentic problem solving in real life circumstances. The students are constantly assessing their methods, measurements and calculations as they collaborate to accomplish the task.
The discussions that follow this intense work session, not only result in better understanding of mathematical concepts but also lead to further inquiry and discovery. When students are actively involved in learning that is meaningful to them, they are motivated to do hard work, pursue their goal and find solutions.
Lightning Strike Kids Opera Company measures the stage.
At a glance, can you see what these kids understand and where clarification is needed? In this way, all student papers are utilized to plan for instruction.