A Sixth Grade Window

"The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows." ~Sydney J. Harris

“Love is in the Air”

Valentine’s Day is a day to be collaborative, right!  :)  In math, we used an app called Groupboard.  This app is a blank whiteboard, but the catch is that it allows a group of people to chat and draw together anywhere on the internet in real time.  The free version allows up to 5 users to draw simultaneously in one group.  The students were working on what we call “math squares review” problems.  I assigned each student to a group on the board, they did not know who was in their group at first and they had to silently solve the problem together on the white board.  At first it was difficult because students were writing and erasing at the same time, but as we worked through the problems, it became great collaboration.

I think this may work even better with more difficult multi-step problems.  When we reviewed the answers as a whole group, all students had a great grasp of each step of the solution.  They really had to think while watching what was being written on their board, to know what was incorrect, to know when to write a particular step, etc.  It was also a very “safe” way to make a mistake versus going to the front of the room on the board when students may not feel very confident yet.  All students participated, it was a very productive introduction.  We could even write on the board with students from other classrooms, schools, states!  Nice job, guys…my favorite part of this video is when I hear you congratulating each other. :)


…AND even sixth graders love a “SWEET” day every once in awhile!

It was a Zoo on Friday!

Not really, but we’re building a zoo.  Friday afternoon we started a measurement investigation that requires students to build a 50,000 square foot zoo area.  There are many specifications required for the zoo.  Areas and perimeters that are specific to each type of animal…specific angles are required in the sidewalks, water features and more.  Students work in groups to create a blueprint of the zoo and record all of their measurements.  They were really grappling with how to scale the measurements to fit on graph paper.  Here is a short video clip of a minute of our work.  Just experimenting with video and editing, need to work on the volume.  Meghan, you are a much better videographer than I am. :)

I found two free apps to help us with graphing and measurement.  “Angle Meter” uses the camera, you can place it on top of a graph and it will automatically measure the angle…an interactive protractor.

Another app, called “Quick Graph”, will be a great review for what we just finished studying in algebra.  You can enter any equation and it will graph the equation for you.  This will be a quick way to review linear and non-linear functions.


Class, remember this weekend you were to do a little investigating…trying to figure out how to represent the area of our zoo on the graph paper.  And you were to take a peek at the “Classics” you have on your iPads…let’s talk about the assortment on Monday.  If you are curious, you can check the lexiles at http://www.lexile.com.

Oh, and some of you were wondering if we would ever have a visitor from another country…looks like we did!  Woohoo!   Check out the poll on the right too, I hope on Monday all of you choose “within the last 24 hours”. ;) (Jessie, your comment was very funny, strategy huh??)

Have a great weekend!  See you Monday.