As a result, I've made it my goal this year to make math more fun. Not only have I done my best to include math rotations more, so as to better address my students' differing math abilities, but I have used my ipads to integrate technology through the use of math apps like Mathletics, Scootpad, Sushi Monster and Hungry Fish.
I have also included time to work on Mountain Math, which is an amazing program that helps students progress through second grade math concepts that steadily increase in difficulty week to week.
And finally, I have been working on creating performance assessments for each of our math units through what I have been calling "Art" integrated Math. Rather than a boring old math worksheet or a solitary math test, I've been enticing my students to display their learning within art or through activities that show their learning.
Below are just some of the ways so far this year that I have done this.
Place Value Windows
After working with place value and learning about the many different ways that one can write a 3 digit numbers, students were asked to roll a dice 3 times to create a 3 digit number. They then had to create a place value window that depicted their number in four different ways. They had to write it in standard form, in expanded form, in word form and through place value blocks.
An Expeditionary Learning favorite... create a graph with your body! Not only did we graph skittles and our favorite pizza on giant anchor charts, but we also created graphs with our bodies. First, we chose a topic. Then, we created a tally chart on the whiteboard of our favorite sports or activities. We then pushed all the desks aside and created a life size graph on the floor of the classroom. Students chose a topic and sat on the ground like a rising bar graph or a pictograph. They loved it! I finished the activity by asking the kids lots of questions, analyzing our body graph and had the kids create a drawing of what we had just made, explaining to their parents the results.
Ice Cream Comparing
This was actually an amazing activity that my partner teacher shared with me. Every kid seems to be introduced to greater than or less than signs through the monster or alligator teeth. Why not solidify those signs with ice cream cones!? Obviously you want your ice cream cone to contain more ice cream!
When learning about Math patterns, students became Math detectives. They were split into groups and given magnifying glasses with "clues" (I used a white board marker to write +3, or +2, or -4 on small plastic magnifying glasses.) They then had to match the clues with the correct mystery pattern. The next day they had to create their own mystery pattern, and create a paper magnifying glass clue that lifted up to reveal the answer. I wish I had taken pictures of their final projects, but they were so excited to take them home to test their parents that I forgot.
Educreations is an amazing iPad app that can be used to assess a student's ability to complete the steps of a math problem. Students create their own videos, where they not only talk through the problem but also solve a problem. My students love creating these videos, and sharing them with the class.
Learn more at the website...http://www.educreations.com
Mr. Bones loves Addition
Because it's almost Halloween and we've been working diligently on solving three digit addition problems with and without regrouping. I created this fun skeleton project to act as our art integrated math for Addition. Students were given a pre-made template copied on white construction paper of a skeleton. Each of his bones had a different 3 digit addition problem. Students had to solve each problem correctly before they could cut the skeleton out and assemble him. I have never seen kids work so hard at math! They turned out soo cute too! Can't wait to make "Mr. Turkey loves Subtraction!"
All and All I'm doing my best to make Math more fun, more engaging and more meaningful this year! It's just a start, but I know at least I'm having more fun. I'll post more ideas soon! If you have any great ideas, let me know!