Wordles in Math

We’ve been busy this week.  We’re always busy, but I think for some reason we’ve crammed more than usual into the last fives days.  And it seems that a lot of what we did was new.  And very cool.  And involved technology.

We tried making Wordles again on Monday.  It was the start of a new unit on 2D geometry in math, so I needed to get a feel for what they remember from 4th grade.  Rather than do a pencil/paper pre-assessment, I had them create a Wordle to show me their background knowledge for this unit.  We brainstormed some words we might use and explain in our Wordles, and then got to work.

I should stop saying I’m amazed with their final products–by this point they’ve shown me countless times that they can do amazing work.  But that’s what I was: amazed.  And I learned much about what they already knew.


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Just Let it Happen

We were in the middle of a really important lesson yesterday, when we saw this out our window:


What could we do next but this?

It was one of those moments as a teacher that I really hate–like when it starts to snow or rain really hard and kids act like they’re never seen weather before–but I decided I just needed to go with it. We do indeed have a construction site right outside our window, and it was, in fact, interesting to see a big crane carrying a massive slab of concrete or metal (or whatever it was) to put into the building that will hold our new gym and several new classrooms next year (yay!).  So rather than be annoyed and fight what was going on out there, we decided to stop for a minute.  And just let it happen.  Learning occurs in many ways and many places, and sometimes it involves stopping to watch a big crane.  🙂