Bulb Archived: A/R Partners 2016-2017: Riley & Stover

1. How did you and your teaching partner decide to do this project? (Please describe the context of your project, this can include influence from previous projects, context of your school, community, etc.):

We decided to do this project as an extension of the work we did last year with the students.  Last year we successfully integrated 6th grade mathematics content with architecture.  We wanted to do something similar this year.  The project began as an idea that would include the science content (biomes), math (ratios, measurement, scaling), and architecture.  The students worked on biomes with their science teacher, Mrs. Sandra Johnson.  We decided to limit our project to the students working for a specific client to design and build a home that would please the client. The same students worked on the biome portion of the project in science class.

2. Big Idea:

The big idea that I wanted students to understand is that they can use mathematics in real-world situations.  

3. Inquiry: 

How can math concepts be used to design and create a home?  Why is it important for architects to take accurate measurements?

4. Grade Level:

Sixth grade.

5. Academic Subject(s):


6. Artistic Discipline(s):


7. How many years have you worked together as partners?:

This is our second year working together.

8. Please describe your project:

Enrique showing his home design.
Jersey and Zarya building the walls on their homes.

The students designed and created a floor plan for a home they designed.  They drew the floor plan, scaled the floor plan from a 1 foot to 1 cm scale to a 4 feet to 1 cm scale.  The students build walls onto the floor plan.

9. What were you hoping the students would learn during this project?:


Students working to build walls, doors, and windows on their unique floor plans.

I was hoping that the students would learn about architectural design, and what considerations that have to be made when designing a home.  I was also hoping that students would explore their creativity in terms of how they wanted to design their dream space. I was hoping that students would explore the real-world applications for the math they learn on a daily basis.

10. What surprised you during this project?:

Students measuring and building.
A student floor plan drawn from their bubble diagram.
A bubble diagram a student created while thinking  through their spacing and design choices in their home.

One thing that surprised me during this project was how much the students enjoyed what they were doing.  The students were excited to design their homes and to  learn about standard practice in architecture, such as standard sizes for rooms, doorways, and hallways, and symbols for features in homes like various types of windows and doors.  

11. What worked in this project and why?:

A floor plan using the 1 foot = 1 cm scale.

What worked in this project was having students design their own homes as opposed to having them work in groups.  This way, each student could engage in all the steps of the processes required to design and build their homes.  It also worked to have the students to first spend time thinking about how they want their homes to be laid out.  This required students to think about private spaces versus public spaces.  This task also required students to think about how they wanted to allocate space, and in doing so, they had to prioritize some features over others in their homes.  Also, all of the students were engaged with the project, included the diverse learners. 

12. What didn’t work and why?:

In most every way, they project worked out the way we wanted it to.  One think that did give students a bit of trouble was the scaling.  Most students were able to figure it out in the end.  However, I should have done some more mini-lessons to give the students more practice with this skill.

13. What was your approach to assessment for this project?:

Assessment occurred at different points throughout the project.  Students were assessed informally as they completed each step of the project, each time they were taught something new and asked to implement the skill within the process.  After the projects were complete, the students wrote about their designs and how they applied their knowledge of mathematics to the process.  There will be a formal assessment given about their learning on June 2, after the students’ filed trip in which they will see their work in the gallery.

14. How did you share your student’s learning process with others? Who did you share it with?:

The students kept journals which were used to document their learning in the various stages of designing and building their homes.  The students shared their work with each other.  Pictures were taken and will be submitted to the school’s website so that parents and other community members can see their work.  

15. Did sharing your students’ learning occur according to your plan for social engagement in your proposal? Why or why not? Please explain.

I plan to retrieve the students’ work from the gallery after Convergence, and place the work on display in the school.  The students will do a brief presentation about their designs and the work they did to create them.

16. How are you as teachers, artists and students social engagers through this work?:

The students were social engagers through this work by sharing their ideas and their thinking with other students in the class.  The students wrote about their process and what they were trying to accomplish with their work.  Their writing was attached to their final products.  Through writing the students are able to engage the people who will see their work by bringing the viewer into their mind.  

17. Did sharing your project with others influence how you will approach future projects?:

Yes.  I will approach future projects in a way that will engage the rest of the school community in a more effective manner, from the beginning of the project as well as throughout the process.

18. Standards Addressed: (Common Core, Next Generation Science, National Core Arts)

6.RP.3d:  Use ratio reasoning to convert measurement units; manipulate and transform units appropriately when multiplying or dividing quantities.

6.G: Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, surface area, and volume.