These fourth grader smiles are all about project-based learning.

Fourth-grade students at Woodland Hills Elementary are bringing math to life by building wooden birdhouses for teachers at their campus.

The birdhouse project began as a way to provide a hands-on learning activity to coincide with the students' measurement unit lesson. The project included cross-curricular learning, where students wrote and explained the mathematical process of accurate measurements and estimates. Students worked in teams of four or five to create their own unique wooden birdhouse.

Samantha Morgenroth, Woodland Hills Elementary fourth-grade teacher, explained that it is important for students to have hands-on learning experiences to relate to the material being taught.

“Watching students eager to come to class every day, excited to learn, and collaborating with their peers showcased a different experience,” Morgenroth said. “It is an inspiring moment as a teacher to watch students work together and use problem-solving skills to make sure their work is accurate.”

During the project, the fourth-grade teachers enlisted the help of Kingwood Park High School wood-shop students. After the students drew their birdhouse measurements on the wood, the Kingwood Park shop department cut the measurements out for the elementary students. With supervision, the students used tools to turn their drawings into real birdhouses. At the end of the project, 25 birdhouses were built and the students were able to give them to a teacher or administrator of their choice.

Local businesses were able to support the project-based learning assignment by donating plywood, screws and paint. The following businesses donated materials: Lowes-Kingwood, Home Depot-Humble, and Sherwin Williams-Humble. With the support of Kingwood Park High teachers, students and parent volunteers, the students were able to apply their math skills in measurement to the real world.

The fourth-grade team at Woodland Hills Elementary hopes to continue adding value to their student’s education through project-based learning.

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