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Topic: There is nothing I won't do...

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Subject: There is nothing I won't do...
Date Posted: 5/5/2008 8:08 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2007
Posts: 5,377
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I've been having trouble motivating my students to learn math, so I figured I'd give them a "real world" scenario to help them learn about coordinate graphs. So I made up my identical twin brother Jaime, who's a pirate (I teach 5th-6th graders). He's going to be sending me video e-mails to share with my class to give them a problem to work on.

Here's e-mail #1

Comments and thoughts are always appreciated. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow :)

Date Posted: 5/6/2008 6:58 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,537
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That's a neat idea, Julien!  I'll be watching to see how it worked out for you.

Date Posted: 5/6/2008 10:28 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2007
Posts: 5,377
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It actually worked pretty well. Some of my students have no imagination, but it was still worth a laugh. The only problem was that my laptop's speakers weren't loud enough, but I'll bring my externals for tomorrow.

Here's tomorrow's clip! I think this one went better because I didn't use a script. That made it sound a lot more natural. About 10 minutes of prep for about 4 minutes of class time (and a motivator to boot!) is a pretty good investment by my calculations.

Date Posted: 5/7/2008 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,537
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I agree, this one is more natural.  There are always those kids with no imagination, but don't let them deter you, I think Capt. Jamie is on the right track. :-)

Date Posted: 5/7/2008 7:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2008
Posts: 299
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Capt Jamie is pretty cool! I am a long term sub in a fifth grade classroom and I too struggle with making math more interesting. I have however incorporated songs to help engage and amuse students. Sometimes I am nervous about how "receptive" the students will be. However, usually they are truly into it. In fact, no one even rolls their eyes at me........anymore. Keep up the good work.

Subject: Math
Date Posted: 5/11/2008 9:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2006
Posts: 7
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I have taught math on and off (before kids and then later when they were older) for 35 years.

One thing my students (and I) really enjoy is playing the game Battleship--the real game you can buy new, at Goodwill, or you or the students might have at home--before and after you play Battleship on a coordinate plane, so they get the difference between (4, -2) and (4, 2) etc.

I have found many, many math dice games, playing cards games, and other games at math conferences, library books, searching online for math games, and sometimes making some up.  Sometimes the games have to be changed to meet your grade's abilities, or the different levels in your class.

At times, the students are truly baffled that they are learning so much, and will ask, "When are we doing math, Mrs. Ewan?"  It can sneak up on them!  Some games are with pairs, some with the whole class, some individual.  It got so they even felt GUILTY playing games, so we started calling them Math ACTIVITIES.  Pretty fun, funny, and effective!

We also went through the text, of course, but many things can be taught using games.

Ann E.

Date Posted: 5/12/2008 12:04 AM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2007
Posts: 5,377
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ROFL! The textbooks I'm using have many good points, but I feel like I have to provide a lot of supplemental materials. I have 2 games planned for this week, I think :)

I have 4 Captain Jaime videos planned for this week, but I make them one day at a time so that I can respond to what happened that day and adjust if necessary.

Angie -
Date Posted: 5/12/2008 11:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 3,299
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 These ideas sound cute.



Last Edited on: 1/18/09 6:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Math
Date Posted: 7/8/2008 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 2/1/2007
Posts: 208
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What a wonderful idea!  You should read the Miss Nelson books aloud to your class at the end of your Pirate session.  Miss Nelson has a class that won't behave, so one day a sub comes in.  As you probably can guess, she is just horribly mean.  Everyone is so happy when Miss Nelson returns that they all behave perfectly.  They don't realize that their sub was Miss Nelson in disguise!