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Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Project Management Challenge - Grade 7 Career Education

Part of the BC Career Ed Curriculum for Grade 7 is project management skills - defined as "taking an idea, creating a plan (including timeline and resources), putting the plan into action, and reflecting on the process." To satisfy this curriculum outcome, my students have been working together on Project Management Team Challenges!

Taking an Idea
This week's challenge was to make the longest paper chain possible using only one piece of printer paper.

Creating a Plan
I gave the class a 30 minute timeline and the limit of one pair of scissors and one glue stick per team. Before I handed out supplies, each team of 3 or 4 students had to decide and agree on a plan of action. Some teams decided on a strategy quite quickly, while others spent half their time trying to coordinate with each other.

One team decided to split apart when 3 of the students agreed on the plan, and the other one refused.  I let the single student manage the project alone.

Putting the Plan Into Action
It was interesting to see the different approaches that were used.  Some teams cut their paper into really long, skinny pieces. Others made several tiny pieces. One team worked especially well together as they had one teammate cutting, another gluing one end of each piece, and the other two teammates putting the pieces together.  They were the only group who had all teammates working at the same time.

Once the time was up, we lined the paper chains down in the hall to find our winning team.

Reflecting on the Process
The best part of these challenges for me is the conversations we have during the "Reflection" stage.  The groups were able to see which strategies worked well (and which ones didn't), and were given the chance to ask questions to the teams who had the longest chains.  

It was interesting this week that the teams with the longest chains ended up changing their strategies during the task because they realized it wasn't working. The two teams with the shortest chains stuck with their strategies, even though they saw that it wasn't as effective as the other groups.

Have you done something similar in your class?  Let me know how it worked out in the comments below :)

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