Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Laptops Take Over Fact Station

Student uses laptop during fact station

Laptops Transform Fact Station
This year Tabitha’s school purchased a classroom set of laptops for teachers to check out for their students.  We have always talked about how nice it would be to incorporate iPads or more individualized forms of technology at the game or fact stations, but money was the main obstacle.  This purchase caused Tabitha to be able to check out the laptops each day during math workshop.  She incorporated the laptops this week during fact station.  So far, students have used the laptops to play fact games such as Multiplication Grand Prix and other math games that build fact fluency.  To allow students easy access to these teacher-selected links, Tabitha linked the fact sites to her class website.  

Site used for fact practice

As this is still a novel change to the math workshop routine, we look forward to seeing the long-term impacts that this change has on student learning (mastery of basic facts) and engagement.  So far, however, Tabitha has noticed increased student motivation (engagement), resulting in easier management of student behavior during math workshop.  

Assessing Laptop Use Efficacy
So all these anecdotal assumptions about student learning are great, but where’s the proof (i.e. empirical evidence) that this change will lead to student learning?  Enter mobymax.com.   We are anxious to see its usefulness in the classroom.  The idea with having students use this site is that it will allow Tabitha to create student profiles→ students will play math games--> and the system will then track each student’s progress through the fact games-->the site provides Tabitha with data on student growth, and students can also view their progress.  Did we mention that the games are aligned with Common Core!?  Double yeah!  So, the hope is that Tabitha will be able to seamlessly implement this resource, via the laptops, during fact station.  

Student profiles reveal progress

We'll keep you posted! 


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bar Graph, Line Graph, Line Plot, and Pictorial Graphs

During the week that we taught graphs, we chose to spend each day on a different type of graph.  Below are the lessons we used for each day. 

During the whole class lesson on Monday, students filled out their notebooks along with the anchor chart. Our focus on Monday was bar graphs but we filled out the complete anchor chart.

CCSS.Math.Content.3.MD.B.3 Draw a scaled picture graph and a scaled bar graph to represent a data set with several categories. Solve one- and two-step “how many more” and “how many less” problems using information presented in scaled bar graphs. For example, draw a bar graph in which each square in the bar graph might represent 5 pets.

Students were given an All About Me Quiz. Each day we focused on a different type of graph. We used the information from the quizzes to personalize the graphs for our classes on the anchor chart and for activities throughout the week. 
Our focus was on creating and interpreting line plots. Students used the SmartBoard at the teacher station to create line plots for different items on the All About Me Quiz. We then asked students different questions about the line plots and they answered on their white boards. At the independent station students played a game called Roll the Dice Line Plot. Students rolled a dice 20 times and recorded their results on a line plot. 

Smartboard notebook used to graph class data

The objective was pictorial graphs for Wednesday. Students created graphs on the SmartBoard and played Roll the Dice Pictorial Graph. 

The goal for Thursday was line graphs. 

We reviewed all the different types of graphs by looking at the class graphs we created on the SmartBoard. The played Roll the Dice at the game station and reviewed bar graphs.  
Smartboard notebook used to graph class data

Students also completed an Explain Your Answer worksheet at the independent station.