|Jenks High School Math & Science Center|
Anyhow, #edcampTULSA was hosted at the Jenks High School Math & Science Center (aka the most amazing high school building I've ever been in). If you doubt the building's amazingness, ask yourself this question: Do you have a 120-seat planetarium in your high school? We got an hour and forty minute break for lunch. I didn't exactly use the lunch break as they intended for me to. We were supposed to find people we didn't know and go out to lunch with them. Instead, I went and ran a couple of errands in Tulsa, and I wandered through random classrooms, looking for inspiration. I love seeing what other teachers do. One of the major downsides of working in such a small school district and being 60% of the high school math faculty is that I don't have many people to steal ideas from. I guess that's one of the reasons why I am so drawn to blogging. I can share ideas and steal ideas from others without geographic restriction.
I took pictures of the things that inspired me most, and I plan on sharing them over the next week or so.
I've always wanted to incorporate more mathematical history in my classroom, but I haven't done a great job of it. Last year, I asked students to decorate their interactive notebook covers with information they researched about a mathematician. That project flopped because I failed to account for the fact that most of our students do not have Internet access or printers at home. And, our school library was shut down at the time.
I think my favorite idea I stole from this classroom stroll was a tombstone project. It follows the same idea as my notebook cover project, but the medium is at least 500 times cooler. Design a tombstone that communicates the significant accomplishments of a famous mathematician. The examples I found were all in science classrooms, but I don't see why this project would just have to be restricted to scientists. Math teachers can have students design tombstones for mathematicians. English teachers can have students design tombstones for famous writers. A history teacher could assign students to make a tombstone for a historical figure. I can even see our computer teacher using this during her unit on the history of computing.
My sister has decided that this project is a bad idea because I don't really have much flat display space in my classroom for these projects. I'm not going to let that stop me, though.
Here's what I'm thinking so far:
- Mathematician Name
- Birth and Death Dates
Optional Elements (Choose at least two!)
- Famous Quote
- Picture of Mathematician
- Mathematical Accomplishments
- Country of Origin (A map would be helpful!)
- Interesting Fact About Your Mathematician
How could you use this in your own classroom? Have you done any projects similar to this before? Tell us about it in the comments!