Monday, September 15, 2008

Math is FUN and REAListic!

Friday in math we were supposed to use a worksheet activity to budget a party. Instead we decided to budget for a real party, and if the price was right we could actually have the party.
First we made a guest list, materials needed, venue, time, why (what is our reason for having the party). We discussed how it would be rude to invite someone then ask them to pay, we had to cut back our guest list b/c we didn't have enough money to pay for everyone.....

It was so much fun. The kids were up and talking, sharing ideas and having fun. We did tons of math. We called our local pizza parlor to ask how much a pizza was, could we get a discount, how many slices come in a pizza. Then after figuring out how much pizza we needed we calculated the tip. Then we calculated how much each student needed to bring, which is only $0.60 more than what they pay for lunch.

The kids were very involved in the process and couldn't wait to make sure our party was within school rules. The kids talked about it the rest of the day. If only every lesson was this good.

Appropriate Timing

Thursday: a kid in my class lost his tooth, but he waited until a transition time to take care of it. I made sure to make an example of him to the class... "he did a great job waiting for an appropriate time and not interrupting our lesson...."

Friday: a different kid calls out while I'm in mid sentence to ask for a band aid. If you could only have seen my face...I'm sure it read something like, "You've GOT to be kidding me." Anyways, before I had a chance to say something 4 or 5 of his classmates groaned and said, "Come on! You're supposed to wait for the appropriate time. Don't you remember yesterday with the tooth? Gosh!" I couldn't help but smile.... they really do listen.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Hopes and Dreams

So this year for hopes and dreams I decided that we would not display our dreams for all to read. I asked students to write down their hopes and dreams on a piece of origami paper. Their hopes and dreams did not have to be school related and I told the class that I would not read theirs if they didn't want me to. Only one student asked me not to read his. The others were all very different, some comical and some tearful. Once we were done writing our hopes and dreams we folded the paper to look like a bird. One of my coworkers bought a birdcage for us to display our hopes and dreams in. I haven't taken a picture yet, but when I do I'll post it. I'm looking forward to having parents add their hopes and dream birds to ours. I wonder what theirs will say...

Sample of hopes and dreams by my students:
I hope to become a lawyer some day.
I hope I don't fail 5th grade.
I hope I make good friends.
I hope I become a better writer.
I hope I can become the best batter on my team.
I hope my cat doesn't die.
I hope I do better at math this year.