Friday, October 19, 2012

Favorite Find Friday: Black Light Math

I am so excited about this week's #MyFavFriday: Black Light Math!!!  Tuesday was the coolest day I have had in the classroom in a while.  Monday afternoon, my friends and I hosted a professional development session focused on Glowing Ideas for the Teaching and Learning. (Okay, the PD was really focused on activities for kinesthetic learners. We stumbled onto 'black light', because one of the activities used something like a Dance, Dance Revolution mat to practice or assess learning. Can you show off DDR without black lights and music thumping?  Umm...not and get the full effect.  So, as we were planning the PD, we thought it would be fun to share strategies using only things that would glow, but knowing the same strategies would be just as effective with the lights on. Really, it was a typical PD...just held in the dark:)
     Okay, back to #MyFavFriday...after the session with teachers, I sent a text to my students telling them that the room was still "decorated" from the PD event and asked, "Tomorrow: black light or white?"  It was unanimous, "Black Light!!!!"  With expectations running high, everyone arrived on time and ready to try whatever was planned.  Yay! for youthful exuberance. We have been graphing inequalilties and writing the solution sets in interval notation, so with black trash bags covering the windows and black lights placed strategically around the classroom, we dove into modelling the equations and their solutions with play-doh.  Guess what?  The bright colors  of play-doh glow (No, special play-doh or recipes needed.  Seriously, just use the 12 pack sold in the toy section)!!!  The kids, though not usually fans of graphing, never complained as we solved equation after equation until everyone caught on. 
Honestly, the pic doesn't do it justice.
   We wrote our solution sets using Sharpie fluorescent highlighters on regular copy paper.  It was amazing!  The highlighter really popped and the students were eager to share their answers whiteboard style.  (Note: In prepping for the PD session, we purchased several glow in the dark marker packs including Expo's Neon Dry Erase set and black plates on which we planned to have the participants write.  After trying all of the markers, we found that the fluorescent highlighters and plain white paper worked best.  The paper takes on an eery blue hue under black light.)
     After modelling and practicing, the students used their highlighters to complete Monday's #Made4Math, Walking Word Bank.  When the bell rang to end the 90 minute block, the kids' response was "Wow, this class passed so fast!" Black light math? Yes!!!  It was the first time I have tried this, but I highly recommend it!

1 comment:

Amanda Kindel said...

Can you explain what you mean when you say you had students "model the solution" with playdoh?