Early on in my science teaching, I found that my students were just going through the motions of science. So many "activities" took kids through the steps of answering a question but took all the mess and fun out of problem solving. So often the mess figuring out how to solve the problem, how to collect data and how to organize data was all part of a predetermined template. I learned early in my teaching career that if I took those templates away, kids created things well beyond what I could have imagined and became amazing scientists and mathematicians.
This year, I decided it would be fun to grow our classroom activity a bit and invite others into the rich conversations we will hopefully have. On the first day of each month, I'll post a new question at SOLVE IT YOUR WAY!. It will be a science/math question with lots of ways in for elementary students who are interested in some fun problem solving at home or in the classroom. You can share student work by linking to the post before the next question is posted. You can include individual student work, classroom charts, tables, graphs, photos, videos, slideshows...anything that comes from the problem solving. Checking back periodically, you can see how others outside of your classroom are approaching the problems.
There is more information on the blog. And our August question is already posted! Please take a minute to visit the site and think about how your students might join in the conversation this year!
You can also follow us on Twitter! @solveityourway