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Case study // Redesigning School & Designing Maths Games (Slovakia)

This case study story relates the experience of a Slovak teacher engaged in the cycle 3 of pilots (Sept-Dec 2012). It gives an overview on what happenned in the classroom and on the impact of these activities as analysed by the teachers and the students.

Background

  •  Age of students: 12-13 years
  • The subject: Maths & Technology                    
  • Aims/Objectives:  To design games for younger students to play in after school activities in the school yard: To investigate possible games, To design a game using SketchUp, To present the design to younger students and obtain feedback and to produce a final design incorporating responses.
  • Location of lessons? Classroom, computer lab, elsewhere in school buildings, school yard
 Teachers and students experiences: What happened ? 
  

The Grade 7 students (13 years old) had to design games for younger scholars (age 6-11) for after school activities in the schoolyard. Working in teams, the student prepared pictures-graphics of the boards or figures used in game, and developed rules and simple instructions which could be understood by younger pupils.

After an initial discussion to introduce the project, students were divided into teams.  They took measurements of the schoolyard and met with the headteacher to get his suggestions and reactions.

The students then searched for appropriate games which they presented and selected those which match the criteria they had been given.   They organised this data in Excel.

The next stage was to create a 3D model of their game using SketchUp. Some students took on the role of graphic designers who had to compile all drawings and pictures into SketchUp and one student was an ‘editor-in-chief’, who had to document the progress and outcomes of all teams on the class website.

They introduced these games to the young students and observed their reactions and preferences. The students then presented their designs to the headteacher and made a case to get permission to bring their ideas into reality.  They also worked with art teachers to for input into the aesthetic aspects of their designs.

Key innovations: What was new or different overall ?

  • Changing role of the teacher: In this learning story, students have more freedom to work on their own, and teacher did not instruct them, she just supported them by discussing what was going well and what could be improved, but she did not intervene in their learning process.

  • Cross-curricular working: Instead of the traditional organisation of the curriculum where each subject is taught separately, this project allowed the combination of multiple subjects (computer science, mathematics and visual arts) within a cross-curricular topic taught over an extended period.

                                             Read the full case study