Sunday, 25 March 2018

Olympics 2018!

We enjoyed the Olympics in Room 122. There is something special about being able to experience the Olympics alongside our students who have never seen an Olympics before. We provided opportunities for our learners to share their expertise and learn about various winter sports.

Our 'Olympic Centre' aka the area our learners could spend learning about the various winter sports. This provided many natural writing opportunities for them to share wonders, learning and excitement through drawings and words.

Word walls to support independence with writing

A 4 person bobsleigh

Our learners had many different wonders about the various sports. Thanks to CBC Kids, we were able to watch many great videos teaching us about each of the Olympic sports.

"I wonder what you do with them (the Olympic rings)?
"I wonder why it's (the rings) connecting together?"- S.F
"I wonder why there is blue, yellow, red, black, and green?"- E.M.
"I wonder why you have to wear white skates when you figure skate?"- L.G.
"I wonder if they (figure skaters) get dizzy?"- S.A.
"I wonder why you have a hockey stick to score?"- J.C.
"I wonder if you win do you get a trophy?- A.H.
"I wonder why they push the broom in front?"- B.K. (about curling)
"I wonder why they have to put the thing (curling rock) on super close to the button?"- A.B

We competed in our own Room 122 Olympics using many of our math skills to determine length, proximity and time.

Ski jumping


Speed skating


We were so impressed with all of the Canadian athletes. Looking forward to the next Olympics!

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Spatial Reasoning Skills

As an educator team, we have been exploring the importance of teaching spatial reasoning to our mathematicians. We have been amazed at the complexity of thinking required to be efficient with these skills. As educators it is important we are providing many opportunities for our learners to explore geometry-- and recognizing that geometry is much more than just naming shapes and stating their attributes. Spatial reasoning can be broken down into the following skills (from Taking Shape):

  • Visualization 
  • Mental rotation
  • Visual-spatial working memory
  • Information processing
  • Spatial langugae
  • Gestures
We need to be looking at all of these skills when exploring geometry, not just the language piece. This also provides an access point for all learners, no matter their skills.

The Hexagon Card Game from Taking Shape (see below) 
A symmetrical design
Recreating her design
Directional language & coding 
Using mandalas to create symmetrical designs

Finding pentominoes that fit where the cubes or spaces are.

If you're looking for some practical resources to support your own learning about spatial reasoning, here are a few we enjoy:

Taking Shape - As a Kindergarten team, we are working through this book. It has lesson plans, activities and black-line masters. We highly recommend this.

Paying Attention to Spatial Reasoning

Five Compelling Reasons for Teaching Spatial Reasoning to Young Learners

Why Spatial Reasoning is Crucial for Early Math Education