Sunday, September 3, 2017

Week 2

This week I continued with my Week of Inspirational Math (WIM) inspired by

On Monday, we started with Sarah Carter's Guess My Rule Game.  The kids really enjoyed it and it reinforced the idea that math is about finding and describing patterns.

Then we did the Building Shapes activity from Week 3 of the WIM on  This activity was really a challenge for the kids, especially a couple of the 3D shapes.  I only had one group succesfully make the octahedron, and many struggled with the cube as well.  But the struggle was a good struggle - the students all felt confident that they could make all of the shapes, even if they weren't completely successful doing it in the time they had to do it.

On Tuesday we did the same two activities, but because my Tuesday/Thursday classes are longer than my Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes, we also had time to do the Pascal's Triangle Activity from the WIM on  I was blown away by the way the kids picked up on all the patterns by themselves.  It really highlighted for me that I should expect more from them!  I struggle with feeling like if I'm not telling them what they're supposed to see that I'm not teaching.  It's really going to be a focus for me this year to work on supporting productive struggle in my students, and if I've learned anything from these past two weeks it's that my students are definitely up for the challenge!  I heard multiple times "Illuminati confirmed!" as they worked on this activity.  😂

On Wednesday we did Pascal's Triangle and followed it up with the Painted Cube Problem from the second week of the WIM on  I just loved all the activities we did these past two weeks and this one was no exception.  Some groups struggled to figure out the 3x3x3 cube and others had no trouble with it and moved right on to the 4x4x4 and even the 5x5x5.  They were able to generalize the patterns they noticed and make predictions about other sizes of cubes as well.  I provided each group with about 50 snap together cubes - enough to build the 3x3x3 but not enough to completely build anything larger.  I encouraged them to really focus on how they got the answer to the 3x3x3 and then try and extend what they noticed to the larger cubes and so many of them did a great job.  This activity definitely gave me the opportunity to allow them struggle productively!

On Thursday we did the Painted Cube activity and then I gave them the rest of class to start on the project that I assigned to culminate our first two weeks.  I came up with a choice board of nine different projects for them to choose from.  I tried to address as many different "intelligences" as I could with the projects.  I'm pretty proud of what I came up with and can't wait to see what my students submit!

On Friday, I assigned the project to my classes and gave them the entire class period to start working on it.  While they were working, I took pictures of each student and asked them for their #oneword that they were going to really try and focus on this year.  This was a challenge issued by one of our associate superintendents on Twitter and I extended the challenge to our students.  Here are just a few of their responses.  

I'm going to print out all of their pictures and create a display at school.  I think it's going to be #awesome!

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