Saturday, March 22, 2014

Math Monsters - Part 1

On Friday we finished the second and final day of our state ELA testing. After giving the students a good chunk of free time as a reward for their amazing effort during testing, I realized we still had quite a bit of time before lunch. 

I really needed to spark my students motivation after all that testing! So I am linking up with Joanne from over at Head Over Heels For Teaching,

With our state math testing coming up in May, we still have a lot to cover. Between assemblies and snow days we are a little behind in covering the curriculum. 

I love this particular activity because it incorporates art, math, and ELA.

We started by using pattern blocks to discuss the attributes of polygons. The students then used the pattern blocks to create a math monster. Hexagons, trapezoids, rhombuses, and triangles were available to the students.

Here are a few examples.

They really enjoyed having time to create with the pattern blocks.

The designs were so creative.

After creating their monster, the students traced the shapes and add details.

The details added must be polygons - no circles allowed!

This is as far as we got on Friday. Next week we will finish the monsters. After completing their monster, they will label the number of each polygon on their paper. 

This activity can be taken further by having the students calculate the number of sides, edges, and vertices in their drawing. Back when symmetry was in our 5th grade standards, I would do a similar activity but would stipulate that their design have at least one line of symmetry.

When the monsters are completed and polygons identified, we will use the drawing to assist us in a persuasive writing piece. I will share how and some examples when we finish.

How do you spark your students motivation after standardized testing is over?


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