Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum
Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum
At the end of a lesson or the culmination of a unit, how do you assess what your students have learned? As teaching methods change to take into account student ideas, assessment techniques need to change, too. Many teachers are now moving away from the traditional test, and towards alternative forms of assessment. In this workshop, we'll examine ways to assess the progression of students' thinking and understanding.
The Great Bean Bag Adventure
After investigating the effects of different liquids on seed sprouting, we turned to temperature. In our fourth experiment, we explored the effect of heat and cold on seed growth.
What we used:
4 plastic baggies
What we did:
Folded and placed two paper towels in each baggie. Added water to each baggie to moisten the towels. Labeled and prepared the baggies as follows:
*Because the beans in the closed refrigerator and freezer were in the dark, the beans in the other conditions needed to be kept in the dark.
As a group, brainstorm a list of ways that you can support students in making connections. Discuss how you can know that students have actually made these connections.
Tom suggests that the teacher in the clip (Steven Levy) could have stopped halfway through the pencil box activity to have groups briefly share their methods. How might this have affected the outcome of the lesson?
What was the best field trip you've ever taken with your students? What was the worst? Why? Who was the best classroom visitor you've ever had? The worst? Why? Come to Workshop 7 prepared to share these positive and negative experiences.
Suggested Grade Level: 4-5
Students build a miniature room out of a shoe box, and then calculate how much wallpaper is needed to wallpaper the interior of the room.
For each group of 4 students:
Shoe box (ask students to bring in shoe boxes, or get them from a local shoe store)
Adding machine paper
- What is the width of a wall in the room?
- How many strips of paper do you need to cover the width of the wall?
- How much should you subtract for the door and windows.
- What should you do with any wall paper that overlaps around a corner?
Designate a cost for the wallpaper per square centimeter, and have students calculate the cost of wallpapering their miniature rooms.
Rather than working with a 3-dimensional shoe box, younger students can do a similar activity on a 2-dimensional surface. In preparation for this activity, cut out a large number of 5cm x 5cm pieces of colored paper. Provide each student with a sheet of centimeter graph paper to represent the wall of a room. Have students draw a window (any size, anywhere) on their walls. Then have students calculate how many 5cm x 5 cm squares of wallpaper they will need to paper the wall without covering the window. Students can paste the squares to their paper, and see how close they came!
In grades K-4, the study of mathematics should emphasize problem solving so that students can--
"A major goal of problem-solving instruction is to enable children to develop an apply strategies to solve problems. Strategies include using manipulative materials, using trail and error, making an organized list or table, drawing a diagram, looking for pattern, and acting out a problem."
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, (NCTM). 1989. Curriculum and evaluation standards for school mathematics. Reston, VA: The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (pg. 24)