Back when I was a camp counselor a few years ago, I made lots of fun crafts with the children that my fellow counselors taught me. One of them was the Monster Bookmark – it was really fun to teach kids how to fold it up and allow them to be creative with the eyes and teeth. I rediscovered these on Pinterest and reminisced about the fun times at camp 🙂I thought it could also work as a fun craft at the beginning of the year to encourage my students to see the fun in reading. The “monsters” mouths are biting the page that you left off at so it should be exciting to keep reading and see what page he can eat next! The bookmarks could also be related to math since the students have to fold the pages into various shapes (triangles, squares, diamonds). Art should always be incorporated anywhere it can be because it isn’t a subject in many schools nowadays.
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.