While I won’t be writing a full post, I wanted to stick to my plan of posting something reflective everyday I teach. I know this is probably a lofty goal but its worth a try.
Today my Gr. 8 Math classes worked through an activity that was designed to provide a real world context for their current Math studies. We are currently working through Surface Area, and measuring two dimensional shapes. I thought it would be fun to allow them to design their own youth center. With our continuing theme of dreaming big, they were allowed to put anything in it they wanted as long as they fit a few basic criteria of including a square dance floor made of checkered tile, a linoleum area for food and drink, and a carpeted area for couches and chairs. By putting in the criteria, we were certain that they would need to lay out shapes and measure their area. By having the fun and real world context I thought the students might enjoy the learning. What I didn’t realize was this provided a time to shine for some of our students. For a few, drawing and creating is what they do best, and I found some engaged and smiling faces that weren’t so happy when we were doing pencil and paper math.
Its nice when a lesson provides some added benefits that we didn’t predict, but what the lesson really did was remind me of the benefit of varied learning activities. This activity gave some students a chance to shine, students that may not always be eager to share in a math classroom.
I snapped a few pictures with my iPhone, check out some of the work turned in by some shining stars!