Marshmallows in math class?

Middle School Math Rules banner
What can you do with spaghetti, masking tape, string, and a little collaboration? You can take the marshmallow challenge! Over at Middle School Math Rules, Ms. Nackel, describes how she used this game to engage in classroom team building and to teach her seventh-grade math students about communication and problem-solving. She provides a really nice Google slide presentation that explains the challenge step-by-step. Essentially, the game involves asking students to create structures in small groups of 4 or 5. There are guidelines for both creating the structure and for displaying it (e.g., it has to stand on its own). The lesson ends with a discussion about students working together and learning from one another. You could even add a few questions to help students think about differentiation. For instance, you might ask them to consider the strengths of those in their group or to talk about any supports they would have liked to access.

About Paula Kluth