Friday, March 30, 2012

3D Shape Hunt

This past week we spent several days learning about 3D shapes as part of our Geometry unit math. In past years I have found that students love this unit and there are many opportunities for hands-on learning when learning about polygons, symmetry and 3D shapes. This year I wanted to add a bit of a tech twist for my class by incorporating the use of our iPads. 
In our current math series, there isn't much time spent on 3D shapes short of learning their names and characteristics- most of which is spent looking at wooden representations of these shapes or pictures in our math journal (boring!). So to spice things up a bit and make our learning more real-world, we went on a 3D shape hunt using the cameras on our iPads to find and photograph real-life examples of 3D shapes. Students worked in groups of three (we only have 5 iPads available to us) and had a check list of the shapes we had studied. 

The next day, I introduced them to the FREE app, Pic Collage. I spent about 10 minutes going through the important aspects of using this app as well as my expectations for their finished product. We discussed how to bring their pics into the app, how to move them around and resize them and how to insert text. Students then worked with their teams to import all of their pictures, label each one with the correct shape name, and then experiment with changing the background. Once they were happy with their creations, they emailed my their finished product to add to our classroom blog. With any extra time they had left, they were able to further explore the app and how to crop pictures, change the font and color, etc.
Here are some examples of our finished projects. THe kids had a blast while also showcasing what they had learned in a very hands-on and engaging way!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Do you believe in leprechauns?

We had a wee bit of fun in math today with our learning targets (I will collect data. I will create a bar graph). We started by enjoying the story, The Luckiest Leprechaun: A Tail-Wagging Tale of Friendship. After reading the story, we talked just a wee bit about leprechauns and then I introduced our targets for the day along with our data collecting sheet .

Our question for the day was: "Do you believe in leprechauns? Yes? No? or Maybe?" We started by asking everyone in our class and recording their information.

Our data was interesting and we found out that more of us believed in leprechauns than not. We were curious however if that would hold true if we asked others so each kiddo thought of someone in the building that they wanted to interview. Partners then headed off together to interview their people. 

When everyone returned, we talked about the next step which was to create a bar graph of our information. We then analyzed our data and again discovered that most people believed in leprechauns. We also dug into our data a bit more and found the differences between our data. Some student's graphs showed that 9 more people believed in leprechauns than not.

This activity was a great way for my students to not only apply their mathematical thinking but for them to also incorporate skills such as interviewing, speaking loudly and clearly, working with a partner and several others.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Seusstastic Idea...

I meant to post this idea earlier in the week but ended up with a sinus infection which got the best of me this week. I even missed Dr. Seuss' birthday on Friday as I ended up at the dr. So... this lesson isn't kid-tested yet but hopefully will go over well a couple of days late on Monday. So here's what we are up to...

We are going to start by watching The Cat in the Hat book using the iPad app on the Smartboard by using my VGA cable. We'll then talk about the book and what we would do if Thing 1 and Thing 2 came to our homes.

I found the perfect paper from Mel D's blog, Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations which we will use to write our ideas. (I can't wait to see what the kids come up with) She has a great craftivity to go along with it located on this post all for free.

I'm not planning to do the accompanying craft as we are going to do something a bit different and incorporate a bit of technology by using another iPad app called,
This app has 16 backgrounds to choose from all based on Dr Seuss' artwork. There are several backgrounds from The Cat in the Hat and two in particular of Thing 1 and Thing 2. My kids will pick one of those 2 and then have a friend take their picture which they will insert into the face hole on their background. (You can also use pics from your photo library)

Once they've done this, they can move, rotate, and scale their photo to fit how they want it and then put finishing touches to their picture by adding crazy borders and stamps. Most of the backgrounds also have text on them already, but you can toggle it off like I've done on my sample. (Thing 1 with a mustache...hmm... maybe not!)

Next, each kiddo will save their masterpiece to the photo library (in case of glitches) as well as email it directly to me and their and family. We'll then print off our images and attach them to our stories and display them in the hall.
We may even embed our pics into our KidBlogs as well... we'll see how this part of the project goes first

I forgot to mention that all of the Dr. Suess apps listed above and many more are on sale this week in honor of  Dr. Seuss' birthday

This project turned out well. Kids enjoyed it, their ideas were a bit zany, and their "Thing" pics turned out adorable!