Monday, March 25, 2013

Prezi as a Presentation and a Teaching Tool...

Prezi can do so much for an educator...engage all students, chunk information into digestible bites, develop 21st century skills. I love to use Prezi as an interactive graphic organizer in the classroom. When I design my lessons using Prezi I am able to organize images, videos, and other resources into a story line to create a dynamic visual representation of valuable knowledge, concepts, or ideas for my students.

I've had the opportunity to share this valuable tool with pre-service teachers and public school teachers at my university and at a local elementary school. Initially, presenting in front of a group of my peers seemed daunting, however educators were enthusiastic to learn how to "Prezify" their lessons and presentations. Many of the attendees of these workshops continue to stay in touch, I love to hear their stories about how they are using this amazing tool in the classroom. 

Explore a variety of resources and examples on how educators and students can use Prezi in their schools.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Fishing for Fractions

My 3rd graders had some difficulty with comparing and ordering fractions. To help them review I created a Dr. Seuss inspired fraction review, Fishing for Fractions.


We celebrated Dr. Seuss week with some fraction fun! In this fraction flip book my students worked in groups of four to represent, compare, and order fractions using various strategies and models. 

  Each student in the group had a different fraction on their cover pages, once their booklet was completed they put their fish bowl fraction flip books in order from least to greatest. 

Once the class finished their fraction fish bowls we had to share with the rest of the school. We decorated the halls with our fishy fractions. My supervising teacher made those amazing red fish and blue fish to add to the fun!

This packet is aligned to the following Common Core Math Standards: NF.1.1: NF.1.2: NF.1.3

This packet is aligned to the following NCTM 3rd Grade Standards:
Recognize equivalent representations for the same number and generate them by decomposing and composing numbers.
Develop understanding of fractions as parts of unit wholes, as parts of a lines, and as divisions of whole numbers.
Use models, benchmarks, and equivalent forms to judge the size of fractions.
Recognize and generate equivalent forms of commonly used fractions.

Develop and use strategies to estimate computations involving fractions in situations relevant to students experience. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

How many raisins are in a mini-box of raisins?

To expose our third grade students to more hands-on math activities, the fantastic 3rd grade teachers and I incorporated Mathtastic Fridays into our schedule. Every Friday we use our math skills to solve real world problems. This Friday we became Great Graphers as we asked ourselves, exactly how many raisins can you find in a mini-box of raisins. Below is a quick summary of our activity.  

First, we asked ourselves – How many raisins are in a mini- box of raisins? 
Each student received two unopened boxes of raisins. We made some interesting observations of our mini-boxes such as, both boxes are exactly the same size and same shape. We revisited our question and the students shared their predictions with their partners.

Then, we collected our data. 
Each student carefully counted their raisins (I had to remind them not to eat their data). They recorded their totals on their data sheet. 

Next, we organized our data. The class decided a line plot would help us to organize the class' information. We found the highest number of raisins in a box and the lowest. The students used this information to construct the scale for the line plot. 

Then, we began plotting our data. Each student added one dot sticker to represent number of raisins in each box.

After everyone's mini-boxes were plotted, we analyzed our data. We asked ourselves:

  • What do you notice about the data in this graph?
  • Every mini-box was the same size, why do you think every box did not have the same amount? 
The students came up with wonderful observations! We also found the range, mode, and median. 

Finally, we interpreted the results to answer our original question-How many raisins are in a box of raisins? 
Using our data, we predicted how many raisins are likely to be in a new box  of mini-raisins. The kids were great graphing detectives as we tried to find an answer to our real-world question. Everyone loved graphing with raisins.