When designing units and lessons, I break away from the typical area's of worksheets and essays. Instead, I've allowed students to build their own inquiry based projects, create science experiments, and more in order to see learning in real life.
making math engaging
Math ends up being my student's favourite subject every year. I don't use traditional textbooks and instead focus on collaborative games, peer teaching on vertical surfaces, and student explination of concepts. It's not enough to know how to perform a mathematical algorithm, you need to understand why it works and that's just what I focus on; I've found this method produces excellent young mathematicians who believe they can achieve in math
- Provided an excelled, self-directed curriculum
- Given students the opportunity to teach concepts in front of the rest of the class
- Daily math practice with math games using cards & dice
- Peer teaching strategies with "vertical surfaces" (mounted whiteboards where students in groups of 3 collaboratively solve pro
- Create a "math rap" to help memorize Mean, Median, Mode, and Range. I promised these students that if they created it, I would show up in "gangsta clothing" and dawn the persona of DJ MC Squared (a huge shift from my typical suit jacket and ties) and rap it in front of the class. We even had a rap battle.
Before spring break, many students from myself and another student teacher's class ended up going away to Whistler for a ski trip. This left a lot of students at school to have another 'boring' day at class; this simply wouldn't do. While we did have curriculum content before lunch, post lunch myself and another teacher organized an afternoon scavenger hunt. Originally it was planned to be outside but that day we had a giant windstorm and half the school without power, so we quickly adapted our games to stay inside. The kids had a ton of fun working in groups and it went over without a hitch!
mummifying a chicken in the classroom
Within my Ancient Egypt unit, my students expressed a great interest in learning about mummies. Rather than spend our time researching mummies or watching videos, I decided that we should mummify a chicken in real life! Shaneequa, as my students named her, spent 45 days in a baking soda and salt bath drying out. Every 10 days we took "Shaneequa" (the students named her) out of her 'bath', took observations, re-hypothesized, and re-questioned as to what might happen next.
Growing up on a farm myself, I know the importance of letting kids see where their food comes from. The Mobile Dairy Classroom was a big part of this. On top of this, I taught students how to calculate their macros using my bodybuilding preparation meals as an example. We then started to keep a daily food journal using the MyPlate application on their iPad's; it was amazing seeing students so engaged in learning about what types of food they're eating.