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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Creating a Mobile

A mobile is a visual created by students that hangs from the ceiling in your class, and serves as a visual reminder of course content. Students start by selecting or being assigned a topic or unit of study by the teacher in any subject area (a novel, an African kingdom, an author, a social issue, a culture, usage of fractions) and then they create a mobile to represent that unit of study. Students must have five symbolic representations (symbols) suspended on their mobiles. The symbols must be accompanied by brief, written explanations that link the symbols to the concepts they represent. Hanging your mobiles is the most difficult part. You can use a clothes hanger and tie strings to it to suspend your mobiles. I have also used fishing line and yarn, which I prefer. You take five pieces of either fishing line or yarn and attach your symbolic representations. On each symbolic representation you attach another piece of either fishing line or yarn (shorter) and attach the explanation card. I used index cards or card stock for the explanation cards. I used card stock after computers became common in the classroom; students could type their explanations and then the explanation was easier to read. I then attached all five pieces to one round poster board disk to spread out the presentation. I used one more piece of string to tie the completed mobile to the ceiling. Please see visual below.

When grading a project such as a mobile, a rubric is a must. You must break down the assignment and award a certain number of points for each part of this assignment. Students need to get the rubric when they get the assignment so that there are no questions by the students on how they will be graded. This eliminates confusion and also helps the student understand expectations. It takes the guess work out of an assignment.

Mobile
To download this picture click on image, in the resulting window click on image, click on “Action”, then click on ”Download”.


Find more Teaching Strategies like this on the Teaching Strategies Page

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