Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What Was I Thinking?

Today is the day. Today, our students take the Math State Test. I am NOT allowed to have my computer on until after testing. I am a rule follower on this day. 
This test may cost you your job. Please sign here, in blood, that you will follow all one million rules while giving the test. We will be watching. Hope they pass! | Workplace Ecard | someecards.com

We need our 6th and 7th graders to do really well. We received our 8th graders scores back last week. 8th graders take their early because they have to pass to be promoted to 9th grade. They actually have three chances to pass. Our scores were quite a bit lower than last year. We have some serious work to do with those 8th graders who failed. We need our other grades to do well to help our overall scores. 

I am nervous. In all honesty, I am sick to my stomach. All I can do now is active monitor! I am not actually testing my own students. I am giving oral administration to a group of kids. Today is going to be a long day. 

For Tried it Tuesday with Holly over at Fourth Grade Flipper, I am sharing how my last few days of review went last week. 

My co-workers went to a math workshop a while back and loved it. They came back with tons of hands on activities and I was thrilled when they shared them. 

They shared a hands on review foldable that was really cool. The presenter called it a fractal vortex. Think, cootie catcher on steroids. 

I thought to myself, how the heck are we going to do this with so many students? 

I made one on my own following the directions. It was kind of tricky, but I thought, if I do this step by step, we can do it. 

Each student was required to bring a white poster board. They would only need 1/3 of it, but it was good to have extras! 

We planned two days for this, the two days before a holiday. 

Students measured their boards and drew diagonals. There was so much math going on with this project. They were measuring fools. 

See how they were even helping each other! It was measurement heaven! 

Step 1 and 2
They measured six 3 inch segments and 1/2 inch "tab"
They measured 3 inches up on lines 1(edge), 3, 5, and 7

 Step 3
They measured 1 1/2 inch up, 4 1/2, and 7 1/2 inches up on lines 2, 4, and 6. 
At this point it helped me to tell them to begin imagining diagonals. 

Step 4
Connect the diagonals one way. 

Step 5
Connect the diagonals the opposite way. 
This proved challenging for many. 

Step 6
Cut the top portion off. 

Step 7
Fold every line! I mean, EVERY LINE! 

Step 8
Fold into the shape and tuck  the tab in and tape. 
It should look like this after its decorated with Math concepts.

It should do this: 

This video was taken in my first period. 

We also had to throw two away and start over. 

We had a few that we made into snakes. We thought it was a lot of work to throw them away just because we couldn't put it together so we improvised. 
This is "Jeff the Math Snake". See the eyes? Like, I said, we had to have some fun with it. 

This was our PEMDAS snake. This student was pretty disappointed his didn't work, until I said, "Go get my phone so I can take a picture, I think its cool" 

It may be hard to tell, but they put a lot of good math info on their project. 

This was all in just first and second period. I had four more to go. 

My motto that whole day was "just go with it." 
I couldn't get upset. It wasn't worth it. I also couldn't just throw the whole idea and concept away. The kids had brought posters and measured and worked hard. Unfortunately, some of them aren't good at using a ruler or drawing a straight line. 

My 7th period was a bust. I am not sure they even used rulers. 
Thankfully my 8th period was much more successful. 

It was the day before Easter break and no one was going to let it ruin a three day weekend.   

We have extra poster board and some of the students have asked to try again. After our tests this week, they can have it! 

Would I try this again? Yes. 
Our art teacher is doing the same thing, except she made templates for her students. 
It's not mathematical and since I am a Math teacher, I think I still want them to measure, but trust me, I am not ruling out templates! 

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  1. I can tell you must have way more patience than I do. I would've thrown in the towel for sure. They turned out really GREAT though! I literally chewed on my nails today while I was walking around during the math test. Ahhhhh!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  2. Fractal vortex!?! Wow! I know all too well how students can't use a ruler at times. You definitely had the patience of a saint! My favorite one is the PEMDAS snake! Great review activity!
    Fourth Grade Flipper