Sunday, November 23, 2014

Woo Hoo! A Success!

Don't you love those?

I wanted to share about this past Friday.  Now, I've created lessons that I thought the kids would be excited about, especially the fourth and fifth graders.  Into Wimpy Kid and Bone?  Let's look at videos about the artists talking about how they draw/get inspired, then have our own session on cartooning!  Nah, not so much.  Using sidewalk chalk and going outside to draw real-sized animals?  Running around the courtyard and not really following directions.

Our resource team has been, um, strongly encouraged to do a "Focus Friday" with our students.  The way our schedule runs, we see all classes Mon-Thurs, then on Friday, we repeat (first nine weeks, Monday's groups, second nine weeks, Tuesday's groups, etc).  My current fourth and fifth grade groups are kind of tough to please.  Fourth grade is the gifted class, so it's challenging them (and keeping them focused and listening), and fifth grade is one of the struggling classes, so keeping them interested and engaged.  Oh, and on Fridays, we don't do check out, so that means its a 45 minute lesson (instead of a 30 min one with 15 min of checkout).

So...this Friday was fractions.  I KNEW there was NO WAY I could read a book on fractions, or related to fractions, with students.  Not this time of year, especially.  So, I thought about it for awhile and looked at my resources.....Cyberchase DVD on equivalent fractions (one episode).  Okay, PBS Kids is always popular and many have watched the program before.  Now....what to do for a follow-up activity?  That's where fraction war came in.

I'm a sucker for clip art.  LOVE adding it to items, and the kids seem to respond to it as well.  So, why not Star Wars?  Good vs evil.  High interest, high recognition.  Competitive.

It was a HUGE HIT!  The kids were so engaged, that I made sure to send my file to their teachers to use for math centers (the kids actually requested me to do so!).  Even my worst discipline problems decided it was much more fun to play cards than to cause any drama.  Woo hoo! Score a win for me!  They even asked if they could play AGAIN next week!

Click on the picture to see it up close.  By the way, did I mention there was a dance for grades 3-5 after school that day, and they were STILL engaged???  Made me feel like the coolest teacher ever! LOL


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