Designed Environments by James L. Neujahr, Gary Benenson. Places,
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Designed Environments

Designed Environments

Places, Practices & Plans

By James L. Neujahr, Gary Benenson
Foreword by George D. Nelson

Now elementary teachers can combine the best of science and technology education in a comprehensive curriculum based on everyday situations, materials, and artifacts.

Designed Environments: Places, Practices & Plans uses a novel, engaging approach to teaching how the process of design makes environments work. You need not be a technical guru or rich in resources to engage yourself and your students with the basic science and technologies involved. The activities in this book are grounded in a broad range of places and situations that are part of children’s everyday experiences—the classroom...

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Full Description

Now elementary teachers can combine the best of science and technology education in a comprehensive curriculum based on everyday situations, materials, and artifacts.

Designed Environments: Places, Practices & Plans uses a novel, engaging approach to teaching how the process of design makes environments work. You need not be a technical guru or rich in resources to engage yourself and your students with the basic science and technologies involved. The activities in this book are grounded in a broad range of places and situations that are part of children’s everyday experiences—the classroom and other locations at school, animal habitats, schedules, and rules. Through the projects described here, children gain valuable experiences, techniques, and skills in basic design technology. Let your students explore the organization of space and time in daily life, work with others on solving specific problems, then create and evaluate their own designs. At the same time, meet these instructional goals:

  • introduce the fundamental theme of environments as complex systems that are designed and evaluated
  • provide a broad view of technology and its role in everyday life
  • demystify technology design
  • develop process skills in observation, data collection, categorization, problem identification, data organization and presentation, design, and evaluation
  • encourage communication and group work
  • promote awareness of problems in the immediate environment and responsibility for solving them
  • foster a sense of control in relation to everyday problems.
Designed Environments: Places, Practices & Plans is one of a five-volume series, Stuff That Works! A Technology Curriculum for the Elementary Grades. Developed by City Technology of City College of New York, each volume helps teachers plan and implement classroom activities and units organized around a single topic—how and why a basic technology works. The guides include an introduction to concepts, classroom stories, resources, and information about standards, as well as suggestions for teachers new to the subject. Use a single volume independently or all five to form a powerful vehicle for integrating science, math, social studies, language arts, and everyday technology. A companion website—filled with curriculum ideas and providing teacher support from hands-on workshops to forums—is available at http://citytechnology.ccny.cuny.edu. The complete series includes:
  • Mechanisms & Other Systems
  • Packaging & Other Structures
  • Designed Environments: Places, Practices & Plans
  • Signs, Symbols & Codes
  • Mapping