Disney Field Trip Planning 6th Grade Math

In a task to apply mathematics into "the real world" my students recently had a task of designing me a trip to Disney Land. Of course I told them I was actually going to travel there and was really going to use their plan of what is the best, well they are 6th graders so they still believe mostly anything, the project went really well.

There task was to plan me a day at Disneyland with the following requirements:
- Use all open park hours
- 75% of the rides had to include under 40 in. height limit
- 2/3 wait times of 15 minutes or under
- 1 Hour break for lunch
- 2 breaks 1/2 hr each - 1 in morning and 1 at night

Students worked in groups and were given a modified list of rides presented on the overhead.  The groups were assigned by myself, and even my low level achievers had input as many had been to or heard of Disneyland and were prompt to suggest which rides to go to.  The high level achievers, I made sure at least 1 in each group was an organizer, these students helped get students started in planning a schedule.  6th Graders struggled mostly trying to manage time with different 5 minute increments in counting.

The two most common approaches were to subtract all the mandatory times first and work with what was left or start with the opening time and building a chart to encompass their day.  While we ran out of time many didn't have time to go back and check to see if their rides met the requirements. This was something I made them summarize in the last section of class. They had to verbalize what they did and what they would do next to meet the requirements.

My goal for next year would be to try to implement something similar to this at least once a week.  That would be on par with a Kaplinsky type  problem as well.  For this task I did use his problem solving sheet.  I helped students get organized with it and fill in the front boxes, but had this been used frequently enough and had I been prepared enough to have copied what was on the board into packets for them to sort through it would be more job like and more student structured.


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