Monday, 30 November 2015

Math Problem-Solving

Math happens everywhere and lately we have been noticing our learners working through various math problems. They are developing problem-solving skills across all the math strands (number sense, measurement, patterning, geometry and data management). However over the past couple weeks, our learners are especially enjoying 2D shapes. They have been working to use 2D shapes to create pictures and designs.

One day, I noticed a couple girls creating with the shapes. I challenged I.D. and A.R. to see how many different ways they could create a hexagon using the 2D shapes. I was expecting them to create the three you would expect (3 diamonds, 2 trapezoids, 6 triangles), but they surprised me and persisted with the problem to create some I had not even thought of! They also inspired other students to help them create different hexagons.

A.R. problem solving as she tries out different shapes to create a hexagon. A.R- "This has only 5 sides"

Here are the hexagons they made after I posed the challenge to them.

The next day they were still making hexagons in creative ways.

I.S. created this large hexagon, he even had to go to another classroom to borrow more diamonds.
 Students use problem-solving skills to create pictures. They need to determine what picture they want to create and then choose the shapes that will help them create it. When something doesn't look the way they want it to, they have to try different shapes.

"This is Mrs. Potato Head. She is mad because all the vegetables ran away!"

E.B. created this "neighbourhood" and added house numbers so you know which house is yours.
"This is my house, I live at 53" 

A.H. created this ferris wheel. A.H- "the hexagons are the chairs".

L.R. used the numbers to show her understanding of shape attributes. She counted the number of sides on each shape and used the numbers to show how many there were.
A.R. created these neighbourhoods. "It is sunny in the middle and it is night on the other two because they are in a different country. The numbers are to tell you whose house it is"

We created pictures using 2D shapes cut out of paper. The learners had to problem solve when they couldn't find a shape they needed. Many found ways to cut them out for themselves.

Providing open-ended materials allows the students to use their imagination and problem-solving skills to create wonderfully beautiful pictures, designs and stories.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Central Park in Room 122

We decided to change our drama centre. The students came up with a few ideas and we voted. The students voted on Central Park! So our educator team sat down and brainstormed ways we could ensure there would be learning along with fun in Central Park. We have been really impressed with how it's turned out, the students have been learning lots.

Students created birds for bird watching.
Lots of vocabulary available for the students to support their writing.

More birds to watch.
Our Central Park food stand. Students are using money and writing menus here. 
Our students can follow different trails (straight, zig zag, diagonal, red, yellow, green) in Central Park.

The students have loved bird watching using binoculars...

I.S. and I.D. wanted to record how many people come to the food stand. They decided to keep track using tallies.
Or in some cases, people watching! They are experimenting with the binoculars and have found out one direction the birds (or people) are close and the other way they are far away.

Creating a map of the trails in Central Park.
Writing wonders about the park.

 Social media has been so wonderful in sharing our learning with families and teachers. We've started using social media to help us learn! We tweeted our wonder to the @centralparknyc account. We are so grateful to the people working in Central Park and their kindness in responding to our wonder! Thank you!
Check out our Twitter account (@learninginrm122) to see the full dialogue!

We are excited to continue learning about the real Central Park!

We planted a garden in Central Park.


Exploring the boats and lily pads in the pond 
A group of students were curious about how much our plants were growing. They used measuring tapes and then recorded their findings on a graph. They will be measuring and recording everyday. They created signs in the garden to remind them what plant they measured.
I.D & A.R created frogs for our pond.
"We can measure in Room 122"- I.L
"I measure this plant" -I.D.
"I measure this plant everyday I come to school" -A.Ah

A.R measuring her plant.

We watched 'Stuart Little' on his boat race in the Central Park pond. The students wanted to make their own sailboats. 
While it may seem chaotic, so many great learning moments were happening--conversations, problem solving, identifying shapes and working those fine motor skills.

Testing out their sailboats