Friday, June 13, 2014

Events in Instruction and Hands-on Ideas for Math

It has been a while...not because I do not love my blog or school stuff anymore.  Actually, it is quite the opposite.  This year I have had an opportunity to write middle school math curriculum for online learning.  It has been quite an adventure and an excellent way to really begin to understand the Common Core State Standards.  Praise God for LearnZillion and there many models of how they interpreted the new standards.  I highly recommend adding them as a go to place if you are ever confused.  My last full time writing assignment was completed on Sunday and I am eager to catch up on my reading and learning from everyone else.
My first place to hit was Pinterest. which got me excited to share #MyFavFriday.  I am gearing up for the analog Pinterest board  in the teacher workroom and I have found some great additions this week.
First up, Mia MacMeekin's incredible infographics on Events in Instruction. From ideas for gaining attention to assessing, she provides almost a menu of sorts for over 25 concrete suggestions per topic.  I loved the variety especially for those days when I realize that I am stuck in a rut and need to change it up a bit.  For example, need to gain attention?  Try singing, dancing, watching a video clip, relocating your class to a spot other than your classroom, do a demonstration, ask questions, engage students' senses, make content current, give them a dare or challenge, act out a portion of the content, connect with others via Skype, or invite a guest speaker into your room.  These are definitely worth checking out!!!
As one who prefers hands-on activities to worksheets, I loved this idea via Sarah Schriefer Dexter for using student desktops to annotate on polygons, coordinate planes, and parallel lines and transversals.  There is something about writing on desks that gets kids engaged.  By adding the colored painter's tape, you could extend this to create comparison charts or graphs (we are working on this for the science portion of the ACT).
Finally, I found Katie Powell's idea for a giant floor graph made from a plastic drop cloth and masking tape.  In her blog post, she describes using it with hot wheel cars in a Cityscape Challenge, but from graphing lines to graphing trig functions, it could be used to get high school students up and moving. 

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