Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Teaching Volume and a Freebie!

Yesterday I grab the snap cubes and had my students start to investigate volume of rectangular prisms.

They were each given 20 snap cubes and the worksheet below. You can get a copy here

After reviewing examples and non examples of rectangular prisms, I had the students work in groups to come up with as many rectangle prism as they could using all 20 cubes. 

The students sketched the prism and figured out the length, width and height of their creation.

They continued to manipulate the cubes until they had created several different prisms with their 20 cubes.

Most quickly realized that the volume was always going to be 20 cubic units. By the end of the lesson, many felt confident that they had figured out the algorithm. 

In other exciting news.............I am very close to reaching 100 followers at my TpT store. When I do, I am going to have a very special sale that only my  TpT followers will be notified about. Head over to my store and become a follower so you too will be notified when I hit 100!

If you download and use the freebie, I would love to hear about it.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tried It Tuesday - Math Monsters - Part 2

Polygons and Persuasive Writing.

As we wrapped up our math monsters project I decided to try a new way to help the students improve their writing that went beyond pairing up with another students. So I am linking up with Holly from Fourth Grade Flipper for her Tried It Tuesday. 

But first let me share a few completed monsters. 

 You can see part 1 of my Math Monsters post here

In addition to creating a polygon monster, the students had to create a title that used alliteration. 
This guy is "My Magnificent Math Monster"

Here is "Wacky Withering Wilfred

And finally "Dippy Doggie"

Next, I took the assignment one step further and had the students write a persuasive paper to convince me and the other 5th graders that their math monster was "the best!"  The monsters and the essays will be hung in the hallway and voted on by the other two 5th grade classes.

Before that happens, we have some work to do. I decided to try something new. Instead of having the students pair edit, I decide to let everyone in the class give their two cents. 

Each student read their essay aloud. Using  post-it notes, the other students wrote down one thing that they liked about the essay and one suggestion as to how to make it better. 

This took a long time to do but it was so worth it. Each student came away with a stack of post-it notes that contained praise for their writing and some great suggestions to help them improve.

This math monster had super protection powers. 

This monster can do your homework. (Can it also grade papers? I can wish, can't I?)

Although this activity was too time consuming to do on the regular basis, I will definitely do it again. I loved that we were able to share everyone's writing. Since they were not finished products I think it was a lot less threatening for the students who are not confident in their writing ability.

 I was shocked when one of my lower level ELL students, who rarely completes any assignment and who I struggle to motivate, was eager to share his writing. He was so excited to receive his post-it notes from his classmates. He then poured over them and immediately got started on improving his essay. 

Definitely a success!

What new writing strategies have you tried?


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