How big is BIG?
Response to lecture: to be totally honest, i was not impressed with the talk. I thought that it was kind of boring and hard to connect with. I think that what he was saying did have a certain importance. I think it is essential to live well as he was saying, but i just think that he didn't tie it into teaching very well and a lot of what he was saying was hard for me to relate to teaching. I also thought that it was dull because he mainly just read off of his power point and it got to the point where it was thinking "I could've just read this presentation myself." Nothing against him, like i said, i think that a lot of what he was say does have importance i just was not able to connect with the lecture personally.
How big is BIG?
I really liked this story.
I think a few questions that it made me think of were
1. if the smallest thing in the whole world are electrons, protons, and neutrons are the smallest thing that we know of, and the biggest thing that we know of is a star, how many electrons, protons, and neutrons are in one star?
2. if we found the answer to that question, and we had an actual number we could figure out my next question which is, Since humans are right in the middle between the biggest and the smallest how many humans could we fit in a star? Would it be half of the number of electrons, protons, and neutrons that could fit in a star?
3. In the book, it says that humans are right in the middle of the biggest thing and the smallest thing. I wonder if that is true? It would seem as though we are much more near the small end of the spectrum when comparing to things like the sun and the stars.
Although family math night was a little overwhelming in numbers, i still found it to be extremely helpful as well as fun.
Like stated in my last blog, our game was make it, take it. Rachel and I were incredibly surprised to see just how versatile this game could actually be. I don't think that either one of us were really expecting to see how basic and advanced this game could become.
For example, our first takers to play the game were two toddlers! Of course this concerned us a little but we knew that we would just have to give them more support. It was SO cool to see them grasp on to the concept of money and that each coin value is something different. Of course they didn't completely understand but they thought it was cool that one little coin could be worth more than "one" of something.
It was good that we added the different levels of difficulties because we certainly needed them. We a couple students who were only in 1-2 grade that needed our hardest set of equation cards. It was overall a really great experience and i learned a lot about planning activities and games.
Our game for Family Math Night is called "Make it, Take it."
The materials that are needed for this game include:
-cent values: We use tiny cards that have values on them like "5 cents, 37 cents" etc. You can also use dice, but usually students have more fun with the cards
-Money: We got the suggestion to use 4 quarters, 6 dimes, 6 nickles, and 10 pennies. This was good for an introduction round but we often found that the money ran out quickly and we almost always ended using much more coins.
-(optional) Paper: when we added different cards that had simple equations like "45-20 cents" we found that students need to work out the math on paper.
The game is pretty simple. Rachel and I start by introducing ourselves to the students and have them introduce themselves to us as well. This is a good way to break the ice with the students and allow them to get comfortable enough to give the game a shot.
Next, we explain the students that this game is all about making money. They usually get really excited and think that we are going to let them keep the giant pile of coins that is in front of them. After that we tell them that that all the cards in front of them had all kinds of different values of money that they got to pick up from the pile. Some were very small, like 1 cent. Some were big like 50 cents. We explained the one with the highest value of money in there pile when all of the money in the big pile was gone, won that particular round.
Almost all of the students grasped on to the game pretty easily. As to be expected we found that some students needed more support than others but that was OK.
Like i stated earlier, we usually started out the game with the suggested coin amount. Rachel and I felt like this would be a good idea because it would offer a shorter game to serve as an introduction and we could let the students get their feet wet. Once the first game was over we allowed the students to take a vote on whether they wanted to added more coins or play in teams.
The game was a big success. I feel like the suggestions went really well and the game allowed the students to really get into it. The students enjoyed the addition, subtraction, suspense of the value they were going to draw, and the satisfaction of winning when they did.
I really enjoyed this game and i think it would be a really good one to incorporate to my classroom.
So this week, we went to the elementary school to work with the 5th graders on our family math night game. My game is "Make it, Take it"
I expected this game to go over very well with the 5th graders. I knew that they would have a pretty good grasp about money and how to add it up. I did however think that there would be a little more "competition" within the game. I think that at first it was kind of boring to them. What Rachel and I did was the first time through, we only put 4 quarters, 6 dimes, 5 nickles, and 10 pennies out. We had other change but didn't out it out we explained the rules of the game and the students seemed to really like it. After the first round was over and we established a winner, we told the students that there were a few different ways that we could "up the stakes." They loved that. We offered to the students to 1. add all of the other change, 2. Play in teams, and 3. make change. In most cases, we ended up doing all three. Over all the game went really well and we got really really great feedback from the students, much better than i expected to get.
After listening to their feedback, there are a few changes that i would possibly want to make.
1. for the 5th graders, i would want to make a separate deck of cards to draw from. Instead of just saying "37 cents" i think it would be cool to do little types of equations on the cards. For example, 17+20 cents. I think that would bring another cool aspect into the game.
2. Another thing that i would like to add would be some type of time element, kind of like a race feel. I think it would be cool to do 1 against 1 and the first one to get so much money in 30 seconds wins the round., I think that the students would agree that the game that we brought was too slow of a pace for them,. They almost all said that they felt it would be a really good game for the younger grades like 1-3.
3. I think another cool thing to do would be maybe to add some dollars into the mix, all of the students suggested that as well.
Finally, the last thing that i think would be cool to incorporate is like a tournament style of the game with the time limit,
Overall i think that the game went really really well. I think that Rachel and I are definitely going to make some changes and it will be super interesting to see how it goes with the new set of students!
I recently had a bad experience within a student teaching placement. I was already thinking about doing something similar to this concept but the recent event that i just went through makes me want to do it that much more. So here it is, the TOP 5 things that turn an ineffective teacher into an effective teacher.
#1: Trust- Normally, i think that this one would be a given, but i continue to be astonished at how often trust gets looked over. I think that it applies in more than one way throughout teaching. Obviously, it is absolutely crucial to earn that trust within your students. If your students do feel like they cant trust you, and that you have their best interest at heart, you might as well forget it. But another big part of that puzzle that i personally struggle with is having trust within myself. Especially if we are specifically talking about math. My abilities in math can be extremely scary when i think about it. I often am scared to really get far into the subject with students because i am afraid that i will get lost and confuse them even more. So i guess what i am boiling down here is that yes, it is very important for the teacher to develop the trust with the student but it's also just as if not more important for the teacher to be able to trust that they are a great teacher and have the ability to do some great learning.
#2:Time- Throughout my school experience i had the advantage of having teachers who probably would've stayed all night to help me if they had to and i had the advantage of having teachers who would barley give me the time of day. Although back then i absolutely did NOT view having those teachers as an advantage, i realize now that it was. My junior year in high school i had a teacher for honors English. He had a reputation around the school for being extremely mean and often embarrassing his students. Most kids avoided taking his class all together but some got stuck with him, like me. Throughout this class we had to read Shakespeare and all kinds of readings that were not the easiest to understand without some guidance. I, as well as all of my classmates, dreading going to that class every day because he would embarrass us all. He would randomly call on us to answer one of his questions and if we didn't have the "right" (in his mind) answer, he would call us out that we didn't read, or we don't get it etc. even when we were trying. If we were stuck, there was NO WAY we were going to go ask him a question. He would offer no support or be available if someone did muster up the courage to ask him a question. Basically, what he taught me is that i need to make myself available at all times for my students. I want them to feel like i care about their well being and to know that no matter what i will be their resource at anytime.
#3:Collaboration- I feel like this one is a big key to being an effective teacher. I think being a good teacher is like being a good comedian, don't let your material run dry! If the students have heard and seen this act a million times, they are going to tune out. I think its crucial to be able to get online or talk with peers in the school and see what other teachers are doing. There is something so awesome about seeing or hearing a good idea and being able to change it and make it better for your students. It also keep you as well as your students on your toes. the teacher wont get stuck in a rut of teaching the same way, and the students wont become bored and get stuck in a rut of learning the same way.
#4: Flexibility- With that being said, i believe that flexibility goes hand in hand with collaboration. Teachers need to be able to get a new idea a shot, bring it into their classroom, try it, if it works--> don't just leave it at that, think about a couple things: 1. How well did it go? 2. Is there a way that i can make changes for the activity to go any better? 3. Was each and EVERY student engaged or just some? If it doesn't work--> I would think about 1. Is there a "saving" this activity? 2. Should i just throw it out completely? There have been times where i had what i thought was the coolest lesson plan ever and it totally tanked with my students. I don't think that teachers should get too attached to the lessons and activities they do. I am not saying that if one is awesome you shouldn't use it again, i am just saying that even though it is awesome, could it be better? each time you use it, could it be better?
#5: Variety- I know that this is easier said than done, but it is important. Basically, each student learns a different way at a different pace in a different level. That means that as teachers, we should be able to teach in all those different ways. Back to my English teacher, he felt the only effective way to teach was to have us do the material, then quiz us on it in class. Look how that turned out, I hated the class,and i feel like i didn't learn anything.
After constructing all of these i realize that there is a big difference in effective teachers who make a difference and ineffective teachers who create problems. As a future teacher i want to be someone that studnets reamember