Miss Nelda the Architect Visits our Class

Subtitle: Geometry in the Real World

Draftsperson works on a drawingGeometric figures and concepts such as lines, line segments, rays, right angles, and parallel are difficult for my fourth grade students to recall.  Students have difficulty with measurement problems. They use measurement tools incorrectly and do not have a basic sense of centimeters, inches, meters, feet, yards.   I wanted my students to get more experience with real measurement, and develop a sense of why it is important to measure correctly in the real world.  I decided to invite my sister, Nelda Braver, who is a professional architect, to visit our class.  She generously agreed to come show my students some of her work, and some of the tools she used back before computers were used to generate design drawings. Continue reading

Game Based Learning – Is it only “Drill and Kill”?

Games are one way to provide math practice to students.  I have used math games for about sixteen years with students.  In the past, these games were applications installed on our computers, but today, there are many games available on the Internet that will allow your students a chance to practice their math skills.  In the past, I have cringed at some games  either because they were boring drill and kill games, or because they were so flashy that students enjoyed getting wrong answers to see what kind of explosion would happen on the screen. Today however as I observe students playing, I believe that designers are doing a much better job of encouraging the conceptual understanding of math, while also giving students a fun way to practice and master important math skills. Continue reading

Document Camera

Document Camera

Document Camera

Document Cameras are becoming more common in schools.  The document camera adds usefulness to a digital projector and classroom computer. The document camera, quite simply, is a camera that captures and displays whatever is placed underneath it onto the class projection screen. It quickly makes the overhead projector a thing of the past.  In my classroom I use this device in nearly every lesson. In fact, if it were to fail, I would have to quickly rethink how I present material to my class.  It is very useful. Continue reading