U1 Day 15-16: PD Discussion Topic


This summer we used jam in our face to face summer institute training. Maybe, I will think about having students bring in their favorite snack to eat with bread that is spreadable. Someone mentioned that hummes-with a variety of flavors could also be a consideration.


There are so many food allergies out there today. One way around that is to have the students write directions on how to put on a coat, and zip it. This is something they all know how to do, and have done many times in their lives. How detailed will they write the steps?


I like the activity of using the paper airplanes. I will definitely be doing this activity!


Students could be asked to provide directions for a task more personal to them such as how to send a text message or how to shoot a ball of paper into the trashcan. They could then swap instructions with their classmates and see if their classmates can complete the tasks based on their provided instructions. Another component that was shared during my PD this summer was to allow students to rewrite their instructions after seeing how well (or not so well) their classmates were able to complete the tasks based on their instructions.


I’ve done this exercise many times in my Robotics class … if there is a student with peanut allergies, I simply make jam sandwiches, not PB&J. And it’s always fun to have three students “on-stage” at once: Student one (who must remain silent) whose instructions are being read, student two reading the instructions verbatim, and student three pretending to be a robot following the directions literally. At the end, the “robot” presents the (usually disastrous) sandwich to student one.


Instead of peanut butter I would use jelly and marshmallow fluff. If food couldn’t be used, I could use giving directions for a robot to walk into the next room and make a paper airplane.


To avoid all food allergies and keep the custodial staff happy, I’m using jigsaw puzzles. I’ve purchased enough puzzles for 12 groups. (6 different puzzles) Students will be given an allotted amount of time to assemble the puzzle. As students work on the puzzles, they will have to make a mental note or have a notetaker jot down their strategies. Once puzzles are complete, groups will have to generate a written set of instructions for another group to follow in the same allotted amount of time. Groups will receive a puzzle different from the one they assembled when writing instructions.

I wanted to use small toys so I could give students the disassembled toy and a picture of the finished procuct only, but I couldn’t find enough items reasonably priced when searching. I’ll save that for a different time.


Tacos are a great idea. Actually any simple food recepie at all could work at all and then you could have a class lunch!

If using the sandwich idea, honey or applesauce can substitute for peanut butter. J


I really like this idea to make paper airplane. You may also ask students to give instructions to make a circle on a board.


I have students write (and follow) directions for putting on a jacket. It gets especially interesting when the writer thinks of a jacket with a zipper but the student following directions has a jacket with buttons.


There are so many different activities for this. I think having students write directions to their next class would be a hoot. We could take a ‘field trip’ around the school or out the door following student directions. Can’t wait.


Directions for:

  • Setting the table
  • Writing an essay
  • Getting ready in the morning



I like the substitute of the paper airplane activity. I know it isn’t until Unit 5: Robotics, but the cup stacking instructions activity might also work well as a substitute for the PBJ.


I have had my students do a similar activity by creating a drawing in Word using auto shapes, writing out directions to reproduce the drawing, and having another student try to recreate the drawing based on the instructions. Students could also use a Web 2.- tool to create an avatar to complete this activity.


What a fun and learning experience it must be with paper airlines. My students will be doing this activity. Thank you for sharing.


I think I’ll stick with the pb&j. It seemed like a great activity when we tried it during the workshop.


The group that taught this used applesauce instead of peanut butter. Great idea!


I can use applesauce or other fruit spreads if there are nut allergies. If food allergy concerns are larger, then I can use a similar activity involving building a Lego structure.


I would have everyone write an algorithm to tie a shoe. Once they are done we would practice.


I am not using any food. This activity can be done using toys. I have small jigsaw puzzles that I’m going to use for pairs. Students will have to share their strategies for solving the puzzle, write the instructions then switch with another pair who has a different puzzle. We’ll have an open discussion about the results. The activity will be timed.