Friday, December 13, 2013

Creating, Playing, and Learning in a Math Class

Man what another fun week in class!  So this week we're gearing up for our Math Benchmark next week.  Being a classroom that doesn't teach test formatted Questions and that doesn't do worksheets, we tend to do things a little differently.

On Monday we did a rotation exercise.  Kids were split into groups of three and there different stations around the room with word problems that I had made up.  The groups would rotate through the different stations solving the problems and keeping track of their answers.  I was also one of the stations and my job was just to talk to the kids about their struggles and work on different concepts they didn't feel comfortable in.

Tuesday we had a Benchmark for Reading that went from 9:00am until 3:00pm, don't even get me started.

The rest of the week we did different games and group activities for the kids to practice the skills they had been learning about all year.

On an side note we also did something really fun for our Classroom Champions Athlete.  The kids were given coloring pages of Joshua Sweeney (our athlete) and they designed them however they wished.  Then the kids made videos talking about what josh has taught them or what the program has taught them, and then we used the Aurasma app to turn their coloring pages into an Augmented Reality experience.  We were able to send the pictures to Josh virtually and he was able to scan them and watch the videos of my kids! It's so cool.  Right below I've put a few of my kids coloring pages.  If you download the FREE Aurasma app, search for "Nesloney Classroom Champions" and then click "Follow" you can scan the pages straight from your computer screen and see my kids' videos!  They pages are also posted in the hall for anyone to scan.





Another awesome thing we are starting is a collaborative experience between my homeroom and Brad Waid's 3rd grade class in Michigan.  We're going to do a Google Hangout every Friday for 30 minutes and just allow our kids to share with each other what they're learning about in school and what cool stuff they did that week. This week was our first experience, and man was it a blast.  My kids, four hours later, are STILL talking about it!  They just loved getting to share all the stuff we're doing and hearing about the stuff Brad's 3rd grade class is doing.  Brad and I are very much looking forward to doing this every week.  Our classrooms will become "brother classrooms" that work together and what our goal is that next semester we'll also do random GHOs where my students will teach his a quick lesson over math, or his will teach my students a quick lesson as well as continuing to share with each other!


Another great idea I got this week was to allow my kids some creative and fun freedom.  So on Friday we had a fun day.  What that means is that I set up different stations around the room.  
- One station was our Hot Dots system we got through Donors Choose last year.  The kids were able to practice math facts and other math skills using the system.
- Another station was logic puzzles that the kids had to figure out.
- A 3rd station was new tech.  They worked with some technology that we're getting to beta test.  They worked with Tangible Play, SparkUp Reader, and more!  They love playing with new technology.
- and the 4th station was at our computers working on the FasttMath or ReflexMath programs our school has to master math facts.



It was such a blast to watch the kids just have fun and learn at the same time! 

We also created a #ChooseKind tree this week.  That was designed for the kids to find ways to show random acts of kindness to others.  Whenever they have someone preform a random act of kindness for them or whenever they do one, they get a leaf, write the act on it, and put it up on the tree.  It's been fun to watch the tree fill up with kindness leaves!



The final thing this week was we debuted our Augmented Reality Christmas Tree!  The students LOVED seeing "their ornament" come to life with their video.  Such a blast to see the excitement in their eyes.
 Here's to another awesome week!