I have been thinking about what we will do in our new Alternative Learning Places in first grade. I was talking with someone who may work with us on this and she in turn asked her 7 year old nephew what projects he would like to in school and what he thought he might learn from those projects. Here is some of what he suggested:
1. Model rocket
How far can we shoot it? How do we measure height? How do we measure distance? How fast is it going?
2. Rubberband Model airplane out of wood
How can we get it to fly more than 17 yards in the sky? What happens if we take off wings, wheels, back wings? Can the stick fly without wings?
3. How high can we build a building? With wheels so we can move it everywhere when we want to.
5. Model truck
How much can the truck carry? How far can it go with a lot of weight in it.
How sell and buy things and count money.
7. Build robots that walk until they run out of battery. See how many miles they can go.
8. Make a remote control airplane or helicopter.
9. Build a catapult.
11. Make a model sail boat, remote control moves the flag to change directions in the wind.
12. Map & Compass to find a treasure inside and outside
So, I guess the message is that a bright seven year old has a better idea of what a good first grade curriculum would be than does any Education Department in any State.