Today, Amy Walker, 1st grade teacher in Irving Texas, gave her students the XO laptops with the following directions:
- This is an XO laptop (outlining the X and O).
Your job is to figure out how to open it.
You can touch it, feel it, and talk about it with each other as you try to open it.
What we noticed…
- Boys jumped in more aggressively (not afraid of breaking it).
Half the students were ready to follow the teacher’s directions instead of problem solve.
No students got frustrated with the task. They were very motivated to discover. You could “see” their thinking.
Students were not afraid of failure (risk-free environment).
One team discovered how to completely remove the battery.
Students were looking for parts that would move or parts they could push (XO symbol).
- Students were asking questions in their head and to their partners, “Is that it?”, “Will that work?”, and “Will this move?”
This was such a simple task, but so exciting and revealing about student’s thinking process and problem solving skills.