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Q&A #4508

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Decorating my classroom

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From: Laurie Schroeder <lschroed@spacs.k12.wi.us>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2001112614:32:56
Subject: decorating my classroom

I teach high school and I always hang student work up on the wall and
they all love it.  In geometry we do tanagrams and they have to make
some of the traditional puzzles and then I have them create their own
design.  In Alg II / Trig they create a quilt square with horizontal,
vertical and origin symmetry and then write the equation for each
line.  This is done on one graph.  On the other copy they color their
design.  Nothing keeps them quite as coloring does.  In Math Topics
they do polar graphs and do some book exercises and then they also
have to design their own equation, tell the type of graph (lemniscate,
cardiod, rose, etc) and trace it in color pencil/color.   When we do
transformations, they pick a simple design and translate it, glide
reflection, rotation, all on the same graph and each is in a different
color and labeled and these are hung up on the walls.  We do this with
dilations and contractions too and the scale factors are labeled.  In
Calculus we do a simple lab with distance, velocity and accleration by
throwing a ball up and finding the equations.  They have to draw the
graphs and write up five questions and find the solutions.  These can
be done on poster board and displayed.  The point is that many
homework assignments can be displayed.  In is a chance to show off
their work and to peak the interest of other students.  If you are
into posters:  pythagorean theorem, fibonnaci numbers, golden
rectangle, fractals, different multiplication methods, different
numeration systems (Mayan, Eqyptian, Babylonian,etc.), different
numeration bases, string or line designs, polygonal numbers, pick a
mathematician and list his major contributions, have students list the
10 commandments of math or the 5 commandments of each chapter.  There
are lots of possibilities.  Create a math humor bullentin board - find
comics in the paper (laminate these when you find them, and there are
lots in the papers) or have students come up with a cartoon or
graffiti or pun (Math is sum fun . . .   know your limits, don't drink
and derive . . .  geometry is just plane fun . . .  these can be
colored or whatever.  Have students find articles in the paper that
deal with math.  Your possibilities are endless.  Get a quote of the
day by a mathematician or put up a trivia fact on the board  (a
pentadecagon is a 15 sided polygon, or  Euclids famous book is the
Elements.  It's amazing how the students ask questions or ask 'what is
that' or is there a name for a 25 sided polygon?  There curiosity is
peaked and they find the math is more than a problem in a book. Their
are some great resources that I have found for this kind of stuff.  It
takes time to gather and do some of this stuff, but quite often
students will bring in stuff and you often reach out to those who
aren't enjoying math as much as the teacher.  Displaying student work
is the biggest thrill for me and for the students and their neatness,
creativity and math accuracy really improves when they get the idea
that maybe this is something that Miss S is going to put up.  They
take pride and ownership in the work.  My room is just filled with
MATH!!!

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