Fractional Clotheslines

Allowing students the opportunity to DO math first and THEN teach it, is probably one of the most powerful “ah-ha’s” there is in teaching. For the past 3 weeks our 3rd-5th graders have been installing fractional clotheslines in their classrooms and sorting out their laundry of fractions onto the line. They have discovered that only proper fractions live in the neighborhood of 0 to 1. They also have acquired the skills of equivalent fractions without their teachers ever having to teach it first. Given the opportunity, our students can learn more about math through inquiry! Teachers can provide the opportunities and students will construct their own learning. To re-create in your classroom, just attach a clothesline in your room. Write the numbers 0-3 onto index cards and attach to the clothesline with clothespins or paperclips. Give each student a fraction to write on their own index card and then let the magic begin. Ask them to hang their fraction laundry on the line with a clothespin. Listen in to their discussions…let them make mistakes and correct each other’s work.

Now for the technology connection….have students re-create their classroom clotheslines on Glogster.Edu. They can upload photos, videos, interviews, and more! Several of my classrooms created their Glogsters and then shared on skyped with their new buddies in Thailand.

StarLab

In one week I was able to take 700 students through the STARLAB portable planetarium at Maiden and Claremont Elementary. Watching elementary students ooh and ahh over science is one of the many reasons that I teach. Today a first grader told me that this was quite possibly the most wonderful day in his life. Low pay! Long hours! Politics! Doesn’t matter- I teach! What is your SuperPower?

Hello World!

Well I am back from Montana and my mind is exhausted. I have spent the past 9 days in Bozeman, Montana networking with some of the best educators in the WORLD! I have been able to add so many items to my toolbox and can’t wait to share with my colleagues in the Catawba County School District. As soon as my brain decompresses- I will share everything!  I am so glad to be a part of such a wonderful group of people at DE. Talk with you soon!

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