Math = Love: Five Things Friday: Volume 12

Friday, March 2, 2018

Five Things Friday: Volume 12

Well, we've made it to both Friday and March. I can't believe that Spring Break is only a few weeks away. I'm both excited for the summer and terrified that I'm not going to make it through the entire Algebra 1 curriculum in time. Here's a little of what I've been up to this week:

1. My Algebra 1 students debated the outcome of the tug of war contest involving Acrobats, Grandmas, and Ivan. I highly recommend this task from Marilyn Burns. I found a lovely PDF of the activity here to print and use with my students. It was very interesting to see the different approaches my students took to solve this problem. I'm planning on writing up a post to share their different solution methods.

2. My husband and I teach a class of 4th graders at church on Wednesday nights. This semester, we are learning about a different parable each week. This week's lesson was on the parable of the persistent widow. We have a super tiny classroom, so we can't do many of the activities suggested in the teacher's guide. I started brainstorming activities or games that we could do to practice persistence. Then, it hit me - PANDA SQUARES!

I passed out a set of panda squares to each 4th grader and gave them no instructions. I just stood back and watched them for a while. Most caught on to the idea of matching black with black and white with white with absolutely no prompting from me. After a bit of free play, I issued the actual panda squares challenge: assemble the pieces into a 4 x 4 square so that the colors match along each edge. 

3. I found a bit of interesting graffiti on my dry erase board... 

4. I learned a very important lesson. If your filing cabinet drawer won't shut, don't force it shut. If you do, it will not open. And, your classroom will end up looking like the photo below as you dismantle your entire file cabinet to unstick the drawer that you forced shut. I have to say a special thank you to my 2nd period class for helping me with this non-routine filing cabinet maintenance! 

5. We pulled out the hydrocarbon modeling kits in chemistry this week, and my students were big fans of being able to create they physical model before drawing the Lewis structure. I definitely saw some lightbulbs go off. 

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