Since our unit is food, I thought we should do something more hands-on, so we made faces out of fruit! The children had so much fun with their creativity and deciding which fruits for each part of their faces – some students added hands and legs or hats. They fed off each other for ideas, which I really liked 🙂 During centers, I called about five children over at a time so the group stayed small. The most exciting part for them was eating their faces 😮 One girl even told her mom the order of the steps (make the face, take a picture, eat it). I am glad at the success of the activity and strive to come up with more that are just as engaging!
Conversations that went on at a dinner party tonight made me think about the impact of History and how it is taught. It also depends on the person and how interested they are in the subject; however, you can make most things engaging if it is taught effectively. I could not contribute in the conversation, and I think part of it is my nature – BUT a large portion of it was that I did not want to embarrass myself by stating something that was not true. Besides one year of engaging History class, I can say that my experience learning the subject was very dull. We read from the textbooks and had lectures about it more often than not. Involvement in the topics and actually having debates would have helped me understand more about politics and remember a lot more of the content.
I taught a math lesson today using a packet and I could tell the students weren’t very engaged. It was difficult for me because I really want to teach math with exciting activities that allow the students to explore, but the concept was difficult – they were learning how to multiply fractions by whole numbers and there were parts of the packet that my CT needed me to cover for state testing (like various models, and an equation). The students were focused and working the whole time, including when I walked around to check in/help them, BUT I knew it was BORING and didn’t know how to change it up quickly without my CT’s permission. The Skillful Teacher discusses the importance of altering lessons based on the student feedback and constantly gauging their moods. I really want to be a good teacher, but today was definitely a tough reflection on myself It really frustrated me today because with upper level math, it is difficult for me to find hands-on lessons (especially with the area model). I wanted to do something related to a human number line or fraction bar, but it wouldn’t really apply to everything that we needed to teach today. The math class that I took in the master’s program only really discussed the importance of analyzing student’s ways of solving problems and having a few present how they got their answers – this doesn’t relate to the math I’m teaching this week! I found a lesson for tomorrow (multiplication of fraction and fraction) that I hope will be more engaging. This reminds me of the quote at the top of my blog about needing to be involved in order to learn. I want to have more of a discovery-type lesson where I don’t tell the students how to multiply fractions (the equation), but I hope it doesn’t create too much frustration or confusion. Discovering concepts shouldn’t be easy, however, since it isn’t my class, it may be difficult to keep the momentum.
If you know of any great 5th grade level math activities, I would love to hear them! (comment below)
Many teachers feel like they have to follow the curriculum and teacher’s guide to the T. Games and activities are much more exciting than worksheets, and they can fit with the curriculum goals. It does take more work to find activities related to the lesson, but it makes a big difference for the students. Today and yesterday, my CT implemented games (two that I sent her and one of her own) into math and science blocks. The math ones were a tic-tac-toe partner game with subtracting mixed numbers, and an “I have/who has” type game with equations and answers – the science was also similar but with various organisms. The students had so much fun! They wanted to play each game multiple times and were really engaged in getting their answers correct (which involves learning the information). It it very important for the class to want to be taught and completing
is a bore.
I start teaching math next week and I strive to make it a fun experience for the weeks I am teaching. The school teachers are still required to send home the worksheets, but the in-class activities can be whatever I want as long as it is related to that day’s content. They are starting a unit on equivalent fractions and I am looking forward to finding fun games, activities, and hands-on ideas to teach 🙂 Learning should be an
for the students and I want them to explore all they know about equivalent fractions and have a great time while expanding their intelligences.