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Welcome to my math blog! The purpose of this blog is to help you stay informed about our learning and experiences that have taken place during our math class. I have also included links your child (and you) may want to use in order to supplement math learning in 5th grade.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

So long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye

Well, this is it.

Another school year behind us, summer ahead of us.

I truly enjoyed teaching your children this year and exploring the use of technology in math with them!  I hope that I was able to overcome any trepidation your child had about mathematics and maybe even fostered a love of math along the way!  Remember, confidence in math is 3/4 of the battle!

Math is never easy, it is a puzzle to be solved.  Please boost your child's confidence by telling them how proud you are of their math accomplishments!  Always support their efforts in math and ALWAYS contact the math teacher if your child (or you) are struggling with a math concept.  Together the puzzle can be solved!

Good luck traversing the Junior High halls!

See you in August!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

AWEsome Expo and Coding

A final note regarding the Angry Bird Project, we had our AWEsome Expo last night.  It was a great success!  We had most of our 5th graders attend and parents were EVERYWHERE!  It was AWEsome!  I loved that having an Expo required the students to discuss their learning.  Each student had a scheduled time to man the math booth. During their 15 minutes, they were to explain our project and the math that was involved.  I really enjoyed this versus a traditional Open House!

Today, I asked my students to work on coding.  We used the site http://code.org/learn.  This site teaches students to write their first computer program using Angry Birds (fits right in!).   They can learn how to draw in JavaScript, or they can move into other coding languages and play CodeCombat or Make a Flappy Game.  My kids LOVED this!

Interestingly, just as I was planning on having my students code, I received my TCEA magazine techedge in the mail.  The entire magazine focused on coding!  The articles explained why we need to teach coding to students, and where to begin.  It also included an article that talks about coding being the new literacy.  Unbelieveably, I also received an email this morning with a link to a blog giving 10 reasons to teach coding.  I find all of this very timely!

We will continue our coding adventures tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Angry Bird Project: Testing

Today was the BIG DAY.... testing our Angry Bird Project structures!  I began by having each group pose with their diorama for a photo (to be used on Kidblog).  Then we began our testing:

  1. Did the structure measure at least 30 cm?
  2. Did the structure have a platform that measured 10 cm x 10 cm?
  3. Did the structure hold a 50g weight for 10 seconds?
  4. Could the structure stand up in a hurricane (a fan on high)?
  5. Could the structure withstand an earthquake (Mrs. D shaking the box) for 10 seconds?
My classes thoroughly enjoyed the testing!  We did have some collapses under the weight and a few with the earthquake, but I am going to have to get a better wind blowing machine than the pitiful fan I had!

Once we had tested all of the structures, we voted on the two that would represent each class.  I asked the kids to take into account the diorama decorations as well as the structure.

Finally, we posted to Kidblog.  Now this was a feat unto itself!  First students had to open their email to find the photo that I sent them.  This needed to be downloaded.  Then, we had to get onto our Google Drive to find the photo I had shared with them of the backdrop to use as a header in Kidblog.  Next, we logged onto Kidblog, and created a new post.  I showed them how to add a header to their post from Google Drive.  Then we uploaded their photo by dragging it into the upload box.  Finally, we used the Drive embed button to attach the justification letter students had sent me through Google Classroom last week.  These letters have not been proofread or edited, they are just students' justification for the use of Angry Birds in math class.  To view our posts, please visit:

Tonight is our AWEsome expo.  I will have a table set up with the Angry Bird backdrop, the six dioramas, a few printed justifications, and some Chromebooks.  The Chromebooks will be available for parents to see their child's diorama (if it is not one of the six on the table) and explore previous Kidblog posts.

Here are the student projects with their proud owners:

Friday, May 22, 2015

Angry Bird Project: Getting Reading for the Expo

There were a number of little things that I wanted to get done today.  I began by taking up the students' assessment sheets and having them turn in the change that they had remaining from their budget.  I had kept track of each day's spending by using their order forms.  I knew of any math mistakes and the amount of money that they should still have.  I asked each group to turn in their money making note of any that were exactly right, any that turned in more/less, and any that went over budget.

Next, we got onto Classroom and filled out a form rating the partners.

Then, I asked them to help me out.  I wanted to know if the Angry Bird Project was worth doing again next year.  However, I had to be convinced of the activity's mathematical worthiness.  So, first we brainstormed all of the math that we have used since the beginning of the project (these are some that they came up with):

  • four quadrant coordinate graphing
  • nets
  • perimeter
  • area
  • surface area
  • volume
  • triangle as most stable shape
  • working within a budget
  • creating an order form
  • keeping change
  • measurement 
I had them get back onto Classroom and create a Google Doc. They were to write me a letter attempting to convince me that the project was math class worthy.  The assignment looked like this:

To finish the class, I asked the students to help me create a backdrop for our booth at the Expo on Tuesday.  I wanted it to look like the header at the top of this post, but wanted to have the kids re-create it.  I think it looks fantastic!  Students birds that did not fit on the backdrop will be used to decorate the front of the table at our booth.

To finish the day, we had

Remember, Monday is a school holiday as we 
honor our Veterans.  
Thank you for your service to our country!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Angry Bird Project: Complete Structure and Diorama

Students were given 70 minutes to complete the Angry Bird Project today.  To be complete they needed to have:

  • All four 3-D Angry Birds, colored, cut out, and taped together
  • The shoebox completely decorated with an Angry Bird scene.
  • A complete structure, attached to the diorama.