This lesson was created by School Library Media Specialist, Pam Harland, and Math teachers Rebecca Hanna and Carissa Maskwa to model text-based inquiry in STEM. Over the course of the unit, students will explore a variety of texts and grow in their knowledge of fractals, city design, and ability to use informational text to support their inquiry and research.The unit was created in year two of the School Librarians Advancing STEM Learning (SLASL) project, led by the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management (ISKME) in partnership with Granite State University, New Hampshire, and funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
High School
Grade 10
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Robin Maloney on Oct 20, 07:56pm

Fascinating topic. First heard of it in a TED lecture and I was hooked. As an anthropologist I like your Day 2 activities. Have to check out the Mathigon program and share it with my team. Also like the real world application of city design (having spent yesterday dealing with Boston's crazy maze of one-way streets.) I'm sure the students enjoyed this unit.

Sabrina Kirwan on Sep 21, 04:50pm

I like your rubric where each new level begins with "I'm able to do the level before this, plus..." I have not seen this format before. I will try it in my classroom. Nice technology components, videos, google docs, online software... This requires a one-to-one equipped classroom which some teachers might not have access to. But if you do have this kind of technology in your classroom ithis lesson is probably very engaging.

Nathan Carle on Sep 21, 04:43pm

Warms: Very interesting authentic reading. Nice integration into math.
Love the three questions at the end of day 3: Fractal Anchor Text Questions, and again at the end of the project sheet. They are great higher order thinking questions that really get the students engaged in the text and the content.
The activities seem engaging and interesting for the students.
Wonders: I couldn't access the chunks that the reading was broken into. I wonder if it was the whole document or sections of it.
I wonder if there can be more of a connection between city planning and fractals built into more days of the unit.
I wonder what scaffolding is in place to help the students plan the city and incorporate fractals.

Kelley Joseph on Sep 20, 03:58pm

This lesson included student reflection, which is great. After reading through this lesson I thought the product that the students worked on was engaging and different in that it brought in real-world application. I am wondering about how the librarian and teacher monitored progress for understanding throughout the reading? There were many opportunities for peer sharing of ideas, which is fantastic. I am not a "math person," but I was very intrigued by the questions that were asked of the students throughout the whole unit!


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