After an extended break from the blogging world, I have returned! I decided that maintaining this education blog was one thing to many for my first year with my own classroom. I have since completed my first year (whew!) and enjoyed an amazing summer vacation in Malaysia and Indonesia with my wife and best friends.
Now that one incredible year is in the books, I am ready return to the blogosphere and hopefully get my new students in on the action! First order of business is to put up some pictures from last year that I never got around to sharing. After that, look forward to new stories from the 2013-2014 school year!
In my last post for summer school I am sharing another of the events in the “2012 Stezzi Math Olympics”. It was our last class of the Olympics and the race for the group with the most medals was as close as it gets. The red and green groups were tied at 8 medals each going into the
final day. The last event of the Olympics would be “Dice to 200”.
Here is how the game is played. Students must roll a pair of dice and quickly add up the products. This is recorded on their own sheet of paper.
As each pair of dice is rolled and the product is determined it must be added to the previous product. For example, if Jessica rolls a 3 and a 4 her product is 12. If next turn she rolls a 6 and 4 her product is 24, and must be added to her previous product: 12. Her total at this part of the game would be 36 (12 + 24) .
Our first event of the “2012 Stezzi Math Olympics” was Multiplication Bingo. Like regular Bingo, students could win by getting five in a row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
Unlike regular Bingo, marking a square wasn’t as easy as “B-4”. I read off a multiplication problem
and students had to find the product on their Bingo sheets. At the end of the games, the student with the most Bingo wins won a gold medal. Second place received a bronze, and third place a silver.
While the top three received medals, the whole class did a great job of answering their problems quickly to add to their boards. Nice work everyone!
The last week of summer school was bitter sweet for me. While I was excited to enjoy some vacation time, I really enjoyed teaching math to these wonderful students. Instead of complaining that they were at summer school, this group of students showed up to class with enthusiasm, concentration, and determination. I am so proud of them.
To celebrate all the hard work I had a surprise for the last week of summer school… The “2012 Stezzi Math Olympics”! The students competed individually in a variety of events including “Multiplication Bingo”, “Fractions Around The World”, “Dice to 200”, and others. Like the Olympics in London this summer, 1st place was awarded a gold medal (of sorts), 2nd place; bronze, and 3rd place; silver. Students also competed to bring medals back to their groups (like countries), as a tally was recorded on the board of the medal count throughout the week. Look out for future posts about events in from the “2012 Stezzi Math Olympics”!
After Math class, my students have a ten minute break to use the restrooms and converse before the next academic period. Lately I have been giving my group of the day some free time on the computers, and a StezziBuck to a focused student not in the group of the day.
During this transition period one of my students asked if I had ever heard Mr. Lee’s Multiplication Rap on youtube. I admitted I hadn’t, and since he was part of the group of the day, we listed to it on my computer. I projected the video on the Smartboard so all the students could follow the lyrics. We then found other multiplication raps on youtube that we also great. What a great way to learn your times tables!
This is the post where I say thank you to my visitors. Each day in math class we take a look at the class blog. The first thing the students usually want to know if how many visitors the blog has had. “Did anyone check out the blog last night?” “Has anyone seen the blog in Haiti?”. Since this is a natural source of curiosity, we use the number of visitors displayed my the blog’s “ClusterMap” as our “Number of the Day”. From there I ask a couple questions related to the number that are related to our area of study (.e.g, “What fraction of continents has Mr. Stezzi’s Classroom Blog not gotten a visit? What is the number of visitors rounded to the nearest hundred?”
Lately we have been spending time learning the equivalent decimal and percentage values of common fractions. While the flash cards have been a great help, I thought it was time for a new way to practice and assess our new skills.
Enter “Decention – A Game of Fractions, Decimals, and Percentages“. I found the game on MathPlayground.com, a great site to practice math facts. The students at my station where placed into 3-4 person groups, created a team name, and then competed to complete each level with speed and accuracy. We all loved the game and each of my classes asked if we could play it again in our next math class!
This week in summer school we began using a website called conceptuamath.com. What a great tool for learning about fractions! While some tools seem to require a paid subscription, many are free and include sample questions and lesson plans. We started out using the identifying fractions tool. With the numerator and denominator missing, students were asked to determine both, then reduce the fraction if possible. The combination of the website and smartboard in the classroom made this a breeze!