Apr
16

Marble Mazes – Learning Through “Mistakes”

Filed Under (Science) by on April 16, 2012 and tagged ,

During March we took the CMTs, our state’s standardized tests. They turned out to be pretty easy as long as we gave our best effort.

But we worked so hard in the mornings – silently and by ourselves – that we needed to do something active, noisy, and with partners in the afternoons. So Mr. Salsich challenged us with a construction project.

We had to work in groups to build a marble maze that would make the marbles reach the ground s-l-o-w-l-y.

Building a Marble Maze

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Here is a video about our mazes, and what we learned from the project:

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The project was fun but challenging. As a class we spent a lot of time talking about the things that didn’t work – “mistakes” and “failures” – and how we could learn from them. 

We also watched this cool video about a 7 year old boy that made a Rube Goldberg machine, and we talked about how he wasn’t worried about failures at all.

(If you enjoy construction challenges, PBS Kids Zoom has lots of great ideas!)

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What are your thoughts about “failure”?

What do you think this quote means? - “When you fail, you are learning.”

How about this one? - “Falling down is not considered a failure. Not getting back up is.”

Or this quote? - “We are making mistakes, so we know we are learning.”

 



22 Responses to “Marble Mazes – Learning Through “Mistakes””

  1.   A Room with a View Says:

    Dear Mr Salsich’s Class,
    Your marble mazes look like great fun, and a super way to learn by trial and error – and what I really liked was that by the end of it, you all had a marble maze that worked really well, so you obviously DID learn from your mistakes!

    Here’s another quote for you: ‘All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes’. (Winston Churchill) It looks like you wise ones learned from yours!

    Mrs M
    A Room with a View

    Reply

  2.   Mr. Avery Says:

    Dear Mr. Salsich and class,

    I love this project! I think one of the best ways to learn is to play around with things, learn from what didn’t work, and then build off of that. It looks like all of you definitely did that!

    I was so impressed with how well all of your projects turned out. It was great to see them all work!

    What other materials do you think would’ve helped if you could’ve chosen other things to use as well?

    Have a great vacation!

    Sincerely,
    Mr. Avey

    Reply

  3.   Jackie Says:

    Dear Mr. Salsich,

    I think quote number 3 means that when we do experiments and when we fail we are making mistakes so that we learn. You learn by mistakes because you know not to do them again.

    From,
    Jackie :)

    Reply

  4.   Shea Says:

    Dear Mr. Salsich,

    I think the quote ” Falling down is not considered a failure not, getting back up is” means, falling down is not considered giving up, not getting back up is.

    My favorite part of the marble mazes was having to learn from my mistakes! :)

    Your Student,
    Shea <3

    P.S. Hope you had a good vacation!!

    Reply

  5.   Kayla Says:

    Dear Class,

    One time I fell off my bike at the end of my road with no one down there to help me. I was bleeding really bad but I still got right back up on my bike and rode back to my house not knowing that I was bleeding really bad until I got back to my house. This is not considered a failure because I got right back up again to ride back to my house.

    From,
    Kayla :lol:

    Reply

  6.   Nate Says:

    Dear Mr.Salsich

    I liked the video about marble mazes.When you fail you are learning from the mistake you made so you won’t make that mistake again.

    from,
    Nate
    :lol:

    Reply

  7.   Luke Says:

    Dear Mr. Salsich,

    One thought I have about failure is that when you make a mistake you learn from it. And if you ask yourself how do I learn from it? this is how : Write it down and check what you are about to do. If it is a mistake you know not to do it and think of something else to do.

    Your student and friend, :lol: Luke

    Reply

  8.   Carly Says:

    Dear Mr. Salsich,

    Failures can be good because if we didn’t have failures we would not learn from our mistakes. For example, if you are making a marble maze and you make a mistake then you know not to do it next time.

    From,
    Carly

    Reply

  9.   Joey Says:

    Dear Mr Salsich

    I think the quote “falling down is not considered a failure .Not getting back up is.” means if you make a mistake and quit just because of that one mistake, then that is considered a failure.

    Also, I loved making the marble mazes.

    Your student
    Joey :lol:

    Reply

  10.   Dylan Says:

    Dear Mr. Salsich,

    I think the quote “falling down not getting back up is failure” is true because if you fall down and don’t get back up it means you aren’t trying hard enough.

    From,
    Dylan :lol:

    Reply

  11.   Jocelyn Says:

    Dear class,

    We were learning just like the boy and his Rube Goldberg machine. He made 3 failures and 1 success and he learned from his mistakes just like we did.

    Your friend,
    Jocelyn

    Reply

  12.   Creighton Says:

    Dear class,

    Falling down is not a failure because you still tried your best at something, and you did do it still. I also learned that winning is not important. Trying your best is more important.

    Your friend,
    Creighton

    Reply

  13.   Brian Says:

    Dear Mr. Salsich,

    I liked the marble-maze because you got to talk with your friends and you didn’t have to do math sheets.

    I have a new idea we could do: We could read for whole month and we give you a note of how much reading we did each week. After the month is over you’ll write down the winner and tell everyone. (p.s. the winner gets nothing.) I hope you’ll make it happen this year!
    :lol:
    From,
    Brian G.

    Reply

  14.   Jennifer Says:

    Dear class,

    Making mistakes is not a failure. If you are doing something and you mess up and try again it isn’t considered as a mistake. If you give up, then it is a failure. If you want to do something, remember this; confidence is the key.

    From,
    Jennifer :)

    Reply

  15.   Chase Says:

    Dear class,

    I think “Falling down is not considered a failure. Not getting back up is.” means when you make a mistake it is not a failure when you give up it is a failure.

    Your friend,
    Chase

    Reply

  16.   Hanna Says:

    Dear Mr ,Salsich,

    I think the project we did was amazing. I think that the slowest was the last one, and the people who did it were Luke, Creigton, and Braedon. Congratulations to everyone, even the fast ones.

    A mistake would be like an unstable thing and it fell down and you didn’t put that much tape. Not a mistake is a thing when you think you did it exactly right and you did nothing wrong.

    Your student,
    Hanna

    Reply

  17.   Sophia Says:

    Dear Mr. Salsich,

    I make a lot of mistakes and sometimes I get kind of mad. Like when Kayla, Maura, and I were doing the marble maze I got kind of mad when something didn’t work the way I was hoping it would. But then I would just calm myself down and relax and say to myself, “Keep going. Nothing is right or wrong.”

    Do you ever get mad or frustrated?

    Your student,
    Sophia

    Reply

    •   Jonah Salsich Says:

      Dear Sophia,

      Thank you for that wonderful comment!

      To answer your question, yes, I often get frustrated when I am trying to do something that is challenging. I think everyone does. I try not to get mad though, because then it is harder for me to figure out the solution. Instead, I follow your advice and try to relax and calm down so it is easier to figure out the problem.

      I love your idea that, “nothing is right or wrong.” That is a great way to think about things, because then the “mistakes” don’t make you feel bad, they just help you to figure out different ways to do it.

      Your teacher,
      Mr. Salsich

      Reply

  18.   Maura Says:

    Dear Mr. Salsich,

    I think the second quote means if you fall down it’s not a failure, it’s a mistake. But if you don’t try to get back up, that is a failure. It is a failure because you are not trying, and there is no such thing as a failure as long as you are trying. You will just make mistakes, learn from them, and then keep trying.

    Sincerely,
    Maura

    Reply

  19.   Anthony Says:

    Dear Mr. Salsich,

    My favorite part of the project was when my group put yarn all over the maze to make it go slower. Our finished maze wasn’t in the video, I wanted it to be in the video though…

    I learned that you shouldn’t put so much of everything on it like we did. The best way to make the marble go slower is to put yarn on the track, just as wide as the marble, or else the yarn will just be lying there doing nothing that will help.

    Your friend,
    Anthony

    Reply

  20.   Taylor Says:

    Dear Class,

    I really liked the video and making the marble mazes.

    I think the quote “Falling down is not considered a failure. Not getting back up is” means if you make a mistake on something it’s not considered a failure, but if you don’t try your hardest or you give up, that’s a failure because you know you can do much better than that. It’s quoting, “Nothing is impossible.”

    Am I right? Please get back to me.

    Your classmate,
    Taylor

    Reply

    •   Jonah Salsich Says:

      Dear Taylor,

      I agree with your opinion of the quote. I think “falling down” is just making a mistake. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just part of learning. My nephew Louie is learning to walk right now and he falls all the time! But then he just pops back up and keeps trying. I few months ago it might have been impossible for him to walk, but his body and mind are growing all the time and he never gives up, so he’ll be walking and running soon!

      I think if you try your hardest, don’t give up, and really want something then maybe it’s true that “nothing is impossible.”

      Sincerely,
      Mr. Salsich

      Reply

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