Saturday, February 15, 2014

Change The Way You Display Directions...

I have a confession... I still have photos on my phone from the 2012-2013 school year.  Yes it is 2014 and I am finally getting some of those photos off my camera :)  

LAST year I was peeking into a fellow math teacher's room and noticed her students reading directions in these clever clear plastic stands.   

I knew I needed those stands for my own room and immediately went on to find a set.  I can't remember the exact set I bought but you can purchase similar ones here

I love to use these stands for stations or presenting task cards.  Recently I used the stands for a unit review.  I had a variety of math games and activities to practice integers, order of operations and the distributive property.  

I always make two-sided copies of directions so students can see from both sides of the table. 

I seriously LOVE these stands and I get excited every time I use them!  I recommend getting at least one stand for each table.  I have a few extra which can be helpful if one breaks or I need more than one stand at a table.  

If you don't have a way to present task cards or directions on tables I highly recommend getting yourself a set.  Once you have them you will never understand how you got along without them for so long :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Scale Up Picture Class Project

By far I get the most emails about the candy wrapper project I used as an end of unit project for Stretching and Shrinking (CMP).  Students created AMAZING scaled candy wrappers and they were so much fun to watch in action.  You may be surprised to read that I did not do the project this year... YET.  Last year we hit the end of the unit about 3 days before Thanksgiving break.  This window was perfect for keeping the students engaged (and manageable) before the break.  This year we finished the book a couple of weeks before break and it didn't seem to feel right taking 3 days off to do the project.  

Instead of candy wrappers we did a quick class project of scaling up a picture in pieces.  I got this idea from our math coach (thanks Kelly!) who had great success with it in the past.  He sent black and white pictures to use in groups or whole class.   I decided to have the students enlarge one picture as a class. 

 I chose to use the American Gothic picture which I printed on regular 8.5 by 11 paper.  I gridded the paper by making 1x1 inch squares with a ruler.  I made a X and Y axis so students could find the the location of the squares they were drawing.  On the back of the paper I wrote the coordinate pair locations so students could use the whole picture to see what their lines were going to create.  

I cut up the grid into 1x1 inch squares and students copied their square on a post it note.  Although all classes used the same picture each class had a different color post it.  

I hung the small gridded picture next the enlarged poster for students to compare (see first picture).  I also gave each table a copy of the 8.5 x 11 in a plastic sheet to use while drawing on their post it notes. 

It was really cool to see the picture star to slowly come together as students completed different squares. 

Some students were really good at keeping the lines proportional to the small squares while others were free handing the picture.  This made an interesting final product when students saw how their squares fit with others.  I would like to do another picture (maybe during ISAT week or before spring break) to see if students would pay attention more to the details.  

Check out the farmers mouth for an example of a student who CLEARLY did not think about connecting with other squares.. We are also missing an eyebrow :) 

I thought this class did a great job for their first picture!

This project was really fun and easy!  Students started the project when they finished their partner quizzes.  They got another chance to finish the squares when they finished their Comparing and Scaling unit tests.  If you wanted to do this project all at once it should only take about a day if you have block periods.  I can't wait to do this again with a different picture! 

I didn't do any worksheet or rubric with this project - it was just for fun.  I would love to ask some extension questions to challenge students thinking about the final product.

If you can think of good extension questions for this project please feel free to share below :)