Thursday, January 19, 2012

Future 2nd Grade Engineers!!!

It is Thursday morning and I am on my way to Giant Foods to pick up my math supplies--- Yep, you read correct at the grocery store!  I need about 200 marshmallows and about 600 toothpicks! 

I am one of three second grade classrooms in our PA school.  My grade level partners and I pretest each unit of math.  We separate our kids into three levels, above grade level, on grade level, and below grade level.  I teach the below grade level group.  I average about 18- 20 kids in my class for each unit.  Not only are my kids below grade level for the math skills that I teach, but I also have a lot of behavioral challenges that accompany most of my kids.  I love teaching this group!  Everyday is a challenge and everyday a new light bulb goes on! 

One way that I keep my kids challenged and moving is to provide them with plenty of hands on activities.  So today-- I told them that they were going to create plane and 3D shapes.  I started off the lesson by showing the kids a plane rectangle piece of paper and a rectangular prism.  We then brainstormed using a Venn Diagram the similarities and differences between the two shapes.  I love to use the "Think Pair Share"-- together they summarized the differences and similarities between the two shapes.  After we reviewed the rules of the toothpicks and reminders of NOT eating the marshmallows-- they are tools and tools are used carefully and with respect.  Then I challenged them by placing the word ENGINEER on the board.  Without telling them what the word was or how to pronounce it-- I had them once again "Think Pair Share".  I told them they were going to be builders -- "Engineers" and they were going to create and build 3D shapes. 

They were SO excited about this new challenge.  They scrambled to get to the paper and begin designing their 3D shapes.  Once they had drawn their shapes,  they had to count the number of edges and corners that they would need to construct their shape creation.  It was great!  When they came to me to get their supplies they had to use their math vocabulary-- corners (marshmallows) and edges (toothpicks)! 

They did a great job!!  I was so proud-- and most of all SO DID THEY!!!

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Blogger Dawn said...

Very cute idea. I also try to find hands-on ways of instructing my students. Recent posts on my blog include CD Case Math Centers and Shopping for the Author's Purpose.


February 1, 2012 at 2:41 PM  

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