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 Subject: Activities in my classroom Author: WandaB Date: Jun 17 2005
Ihor,

Summer school begins in 45 minutes. I'm still at home and have copies to make
for class, so I'll promise to read your stories and respond specifically to them
later. When I met you last summer, I was really impressed by your enthusiasm for
the student learning and the wealth of information you shared. Your students and
teachers are lucky!

What I would like to share at the present time are some activities my students
have enjoyed in the classroom. (I know Suzanne will be asking for them to
submitted as stories!!!)

1. Integer addition - I began by having golfish represent positive integers and
oyster crackers (we called them oyster babies) represent negative. To survive,
the goldfish ate the oyster crackers. Using this, students were able to
understand the derive and understand the rules for addition of integers. Virtual
manipulatives to support this (equally as motivating) are:

http://mathforum.org/mathtools/activity/451
http://mathforum.org/mathtools/activity/454
http://mathforum.org/mathtools/activity/444

Food always makes any activity better. I had students telling me that they
couldn't wait to be in class because we got to eat!!!

2. Volumizing creation. As part of an Alternative Assessment graduate class, I
developed a unit for volume and surface area by incorporating many resources
found through internet research. The basics of the project - students choose ten
recylable shapes (cylinders, prisms, spheres) plus ones I provided (cones,
pyramids). They drew the shape on paper, took appropriate measures, and
calculated the volume and surface area for each shape. They also kept a journal
in which they completed application programs and illustrated a picture
dictionary of 3-dimensional terminology. Now the fun part, they took their
shapes and created an object of their choosing. Some examples of the finished
projects included guitars with amplifiers, a 3 story musuem, rockets, school
buses, light up castles, tanks, etc. They had soooo much fun and I felt
understood the concept at a deeper level.

We displayed the projects in the hallway for the entire school to view and at
parent teacher conferences. I promise to send more later to MathTools. I had
students from other classes making comments like, 'I can't wait to be in her
class,' and 'I already know what I'm going to make next year.'

The internet is down at school for summer cleaning of the server, so I'll won't
be able to check back until later. I look forward to hearing more stories.