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Education Administration Artifact Reflection

Artifact Title: The Penny project

Date: Beginning winter 2009
Artifact Description
Math for technology is offered to high school Juniors ands seniors at Southwestern High School. As
part of my math for technology curriculum the students take on and complete the task known at
Southwestern as The Penny Project. The Penny Project is a group project in which the students
have to create a plan, collect tools, ask questions to find missing data that cannot be measured or
calculated and finally carry out their plan to calculate the number of pennies needed to completely
fill my classroom. As a conclusion to the project each group presents their method and findings to
the class.

Wisconsin Administrator Standard Alignment

The Penny Project best aligns with the
Administrative Standard 1-2 development and learning
which states:
The teacher understands how children learn and develop, and can
provide learning opportunities that support their intellectual, social and personal

For the Penny Project I build groups based on assessed skill levels of the students. This allows
me to tailor the project to the abilities of each group. Depending on their skills working with
large project planning and problem solving skills I can fill in some of the unknowns and make
suggestions for the group if needed. Other groups that are more prepared to handle a large
open ended task get no more information than find out how many pennies it would take to fill
this room. These groups need to come up with a list of questions for me to answer with
things like, is the room going to be empty or will the furniture be left in it? Will the pennies be
stacked neatly or just dumped in? As well as any others they feel they need answered.
The project is also designed to allow student to reflect on prior knowledge of measuring
methods and tools and to link these skills with a rather large and challenging task. I use this
project as a wrap up to the measuring unit in this class. In the unit we cover different tools,
units and methods to find measurements both directly and indirectly. The students can apply
these methods as well as their problem solving and planning skills to estimate the number of
pennies needed to fill a classroom.
This project demonstrates my competency in understanding how children grow and develops.
It shows my ability to tailor lessons to meet students current needs and ability levels. Using
the flexibility of this lesson I am able to offer opportunities for students in the same classroom
to grow intellectually at multiple different levels through a problem based lesson designed to
meet the needs of each student work group.

What I learned about teaching from this experience:

While using this project in my math for tech class I have learned the importance of complex tasks in
student development both academically and socially. The requirement to draw on past knowledge as
well as use problem solving and creativity to solve a rather daunting task develops many skills in the
students which can be used not only during their academic career, but also in their future

What I learned about myself as a prospective administrator as a result of this experience/artifact:

While the project itself does not involve a great deal of planning, the days leading up to it are very
significant. I have used the lesson at different times in the school year and have seen the
importance of a well thought out unit plan with goals and a timeline. Goals are a requirement of
any situation in order to foster growth. As an administrator I intend to set district goals and work
with teachers in my district to set goals and create a plan as a tool to work toward achievement of
their goals.