The Marshmallow Challenge

                I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in “The Marshmallow Challenge” because it forced us to think, try, and learn. First off, this exercise is a hands-on approach to learning. It forces students to get out of their comfortable seats and actually engage in the lesson. It shows students that they can think for themselves. I have seen so many classroom scenarios where the students do not learn to work through problem solving because they know that the teacher will eventually give them the answer. It is important for students to learn how to evaluate a problem, come up with a solution, try it out, and conclude with reexamining the process. The Marshmallow Challenge gives students the opportunity to learn from their mistakes.

                I think that an important part of this lesson that I want to incorporate in my classroom would be to have students assess and reflect on their experience. What worked? What did not work? What changes would you make to your “Marshmallow Plan” for better results? This challenge also shows students that there is not simply one answer. In education, students fall into a bad textbook habit of rushing through assignments in search of the right answers to complete the assignment as quick as possible. However, this does not teach students how to think critically, ask good questions, and learn that real life is not black and white. The Marshmallow Challenge gives students experience in working with the “grey areas” of problem solving.

The Marshmallow Challenge also gives teachers the opportunity to learn about their students through a “fish bowl” perspective. While students are working through the task, teachers get to watch student interactions with each other. As students communicate with each other, the teacher can see the leaders, the followers, the peacemakers, the class clowns, and the perfectionists. The teachers collect valuable information for future lessons such as who works well together in group projects or what types of learners exist in the classroom. The Marshmallow Challenge has many valuable learning benefits, for both students and teachers alike. To view the experience, go to http://www.schooltube.com/video/28377108f5641f5f5d91/Marshmallow-Challenge-ARC-2.

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