According to Using Technology with Classroom Instruction That Works, there are six tasks that teachers can use to help students generate and test hypotheses. These include system analysis, problem solving, historical investigation, invention, experimental inquiry, and decision making. These six tasks all fit into the idea of students solving a problem and building something to show their results. The book mentions having students make predictions about what would happen to an ecosystem if a species of animals was removed or numbers altered. This is a real-world problem that some areas face when animals become endangered or even when there is an overpopulation of a species. Students could research areas that have been affected by this type of problem and work to come up with a solution to solve it. Afterwards they could create a PowerPoint or some other project to display their findings and solution to the problem.Another example given from the book is of a fifth grade teacher that told her students they inherited $10,000 from a relative. She then had them chart in a spreadsheet how compounding interest and saving money can lead to larger earnings over time. Learning how to invest larger sums of money is something that students may encounter in life. These types of skills will be beneficial in their lives as they get older.
In conclusion, it is important for students to confront real-world problems in the classroom. They will be more engaged if they have a set purpose to what they are doing. In addition, students are actively involved when creating projects.References:
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer) (2010) Constructionist and Constructivist Learning Theories. Retrieved from http://sylvan.live.ecollege.com
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.