In 2021, Ms. Courtney Menk, Grade 4 teacher, came up with an idea to bring her math lessons to life! Each year, using what they are learning about measurement, area, and perimeter, students get to construct their own life-sized mini golf holes.
This year, to kick off the project, Ms. Menk showed her students the mini-golf hole she built that the kids got to measure and try out. This served as inspiration for students to individually design their own holes with no limits or constraints. Following this step, students were placed into small groups and worked together to combine their ideas into one final design. After presenting their plan to a teacher for approval, the fourth graders also had to submit a carefully calculated request for materials. To create this request, students utilized area and perimeter to figure out how much wood, grass, and other materials they would need to build their projects. Upon receiving approval, students spent three days constructing their mini golf holes in the Gates Innovation Lab. When their projects were complete, the fourth graders invited their Kindergarten buddies to Allon Quad for a fun afternoon of mini golf! When asked what she loves most about this project, Ms. Menk shared, “I love this project because it is a real-world application of the skills we learn in math. I also love the opportunity to get into the Gates Innovation Lab to use the resources and materials that we are so fortunate to have here at Graland. When my students look back at this project, I hope they remember that it was fun, engaging, and a great way to learn math concepts.”
Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1927, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.