Monthly Archives: February 2012

“Technology Tuesdays”

Homework as Meaningful: “T if or Technology

Homework: the pros and cons … a hotly debated topic among teachers and parents.
I actually believe in homework (see http://bit.ly/qMSR5X) as a means of encouraging the development of organizational skills and good study habits, for example.
So I found myself thinking about ways in which to ensure that homework assignments are meaningful; that they engage and extend students’ understanding of concepts presented in class.
…. Then I got to thinking: My students really(!) enjoy playing math games on the smart board, going on virtual field trips, etc. They log onto and play computer games, watch videos, etc. all the time … so why not combine the two? Why not combined educational computer games, virtual field trips, videos etc. with homework?
The next day I decided to put my idea to the test … I called my idea:

“Technology Tuesdays”.

The idea is this:
   Every Tuesday my students’ homework is now on the computer.
Last week for example they played a multiplication game (http://bit.ly/xczDzl), practiced long division (http://bit.ly/1Fp79E) and went on a tomb adventure in ancient Egypt (http://bit.ly/wQxVhw). The week before that they contributed to our Egypt Game Blog (that I had created and previous to this they had only used at school), played a division concentration game and watched a Study Jams video followed by an online quiz all about fractions (http://bit.ly/ArmkJB).
   The students loved it, as did the parents! So now (as of last week) I have extended Technology Tuesdays to “T is for Technology”. Homework is now done on the computer on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Note:
When I asked my students why they love “Technology Tuesdays they listed many reasons, including the following:

1.    “The games are fun and the videos are interesting.”
2.     “Working on the computer gives me a break from using a pencil and paper. It gives my hands a rest.”
3.    “Virtual field trips are great because I can visit places that I have never been before. I loved going inside a pyramid! It was dark and cool with secret passages. I liked going inside a museum and seeing artifacts. I loved seeing what everything looks like in “real life”. We can “go to” places that we have never been before.”
4.    “The games and videos guide me so I can do things on my own. I didn’t have to ask for help with long division.”
5.    “I use less paper, which saves trees. “T for Technology” is eco-friendly.”

Yay! We love “T is for Technology”!

Cheers,
Ally


Valentine’s Day Math, Language, Science & Art Activities

Valentine’s Day Math, Language, Science & Art Activities

I) Math:
(A) Give students Valentine’s Day candies that come in several colours.
1. Graph them according to colour.
2. Find the colour mean, median and mode.
3. Calculate colour fractions, i.e. 18/24 reds, 2/24 pinks, 1/24 blue, 2/24 purple, 1/24 yellow. Turn fractions into decimals and then percentages.
4. Students write and trade their own Valentine’s Day word problems. Be sure that they are multi-step, include irrelevant information that must be weeded out and clever/well written.

(B) Plotting Ordered Pairs
On a piece of graph paper students follow directions in order to plot/map out Valentine’s  Day pictures. (Younger students can use a 100s Board).

II) Language

(A) Valentine’s Day Poetry
Students choose their favourite recipe. Replace food items with “Valentine’s Day/Friendship/Love Words”. (Brainstorm words as a class.)
i.e.

My Valentine’s Day Cake
Just for You!
Ingredients
8 oz (225 g) Love
2/3 cup (140 g) Kisses
1 cup (210 g) Hugs
1 cup Roses
4 Smiles
4 heaped tablespoons (1 dl) Kindness
4 tablespoons Winks
1½ teaspoon Joy
1 teaspoon Faithfulness
4 tablespoons Trust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a heart-shaped 10 inch (25 cm) cake tin (3 inches tall) with non-stick paper and grease the tin. .
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes with love.
Serve and enjoy.

(B) Word Challenge:
How may words can you make using the letters in “Happy Valentine’s Day”.

 

III) Science Class:
Human Body:
We have learned about the cardiovascular system and the heart. Use this knowledge to create Valentine’s Day cards:
Decorate the outside in the traditional way. On the inside record ways to keep heart healthy.
Examples include:

  • Eating heart healthy foods.
  • Make time to exercise every day.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Eat foods that are low in cholesterol, fats and salt.
  • Eat foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids (i.e. fish, flaxseed oil, soybean oil, etc.)
  • Eat heart healthy foods, i.e. blueberries, oatmeal, salmon, soy, spinach,
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.


IV) Art Activites:

1. My favourite card:
“Heart in Hand Valentine Card”  http://bit.ly/zbXCkE

2. Make “Crazy Card Carriers”  http://bit.ly/w8WXdo