Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Math Chaos

Our current focus is on the book called Math Curse by Jon Scieszka.  We watched a ten minute segment from this very entertaining presentation by the author. Students may like to watch the whole presentation at their own leisure. He is very funny.

The unit has a literacy and numeracy focus and students will also have to think about the design elements of their clocks. Students are learning to use a compass and to understand degrees in a circle and how to efficiently partition the circle to create an analogue clock face. They will be designing a clock with movable arms to discuss intervals of time. Each student is writing a narrative about their morning, detailing the times and events from when they wake up until when the bells goes to begin their school day. They will then be writing five mathematical questions to pose to their peers. They must have worked out the answers.

I whipped up a quick example to give the general idea. In class I also and modelled writing my narrative about my morning.

My favourite time of the day
Five students were shown in depth how to use a compass and protractor and two possible ways of partitioning their circles. They then became the expert team and assisted other students with the construction of their circles.

Captains of Industry
Hard at work designing their clock faces

Some students are using photographs for the head section of their bodies.

As an aside to this unit students are looking at written maths problems, learning to decode them and to find the necessary information.  I encourage students to use the think, pair and share method which allows students to unpack questions with support from each other and to compare their chosen strategies.