My class blog- 2016

I am a class teacher for year four students and a team leader for the middle school. My class and I are also a part of the Manaiakalani ClassOnAir.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Creativity with Maths - Part 1

In my last blog post I shared on how I had trained a group of students as experts, who then taught fractions to other students. The idea was to build a caring and inclusive learning environment where each student's contribution is valued. This has somehow sparked a lot of enthusiasm amongst students. Each student in my class now wishes to contribute in some way and make their mark by teaching others.

Today I started my Maths lesson with a revision on what we had done last week. As we talked and revised what we had learnt, some of the students said that they wanted to teach and help their buddy class all about fractions. Slowly every student got motivated. They said that it was too hard to teach Maths through problem solving and just declared that problem solving worked out well when it was taught by teachers. 
They wanted to make games like the one that I had made for them to learn their multiplication facts- The dart game! They said that they wanted to teach them fractions in a fun way!

It is said that creativity empowers learning! This is exactly what came to life in my Maths class today when the whole class got into groups and designed their own fraction games. They took charge and I just listened to them!

Their starting point was to explore the kind of games they could make?  What resources would they need to make those games?  What knowledge would buddy students need to know in order to play those games? Would they have to teach them halves of numbers before they taught them how to play their games?

As they took control, I stepped back and let go! Because it was driven by them, they came up with fantastic ideas about fraction games. They chose their material and resources, they designed their games and made rules for these games, tried those rules and then amended them. 

By the end of our Maths time we had the following games-

  • Fraction game which is a board game played by two students who have to work out the halves and quarters of numbers to win.
  • The cake shop - In this game students would have the opportunity to design their own cake using jelly beans. The catch is that jelly beans have to be evenly divided on each fraction of the cake. The cakes would be made of play dough.
  • A fidget spinner shop that has heavily reduced prices. Students buying fidget spinners will have to work out the combinations  they could afford to buy with the amount of money they have.
  • A fraction spinner - to win this game one needed to spin the spinner and then work out the halves and quarters of a number.
  • Students who were working on addition and subtraction of numbers using place values made place value games where students could pull out numbers from the hat and then add or subtract them using place value.
Tomorrow will be a very exciting day for us, as we will finish making our games and then invite our buddy class to play these games. 

I just cannot wait for tomorrow to come!

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