Saturday, May 18, 2013

End of School Year for Me

To finish off my part in the school year yesterday, I had a combination 5/6 classroom.  It was the second day I was there.  Most of the day was entirely typical: he stole my pencil, she kicked my chair, I don't have a book to read, my computer doesn't get X, etc.  But, for math, which I enjoy, I knew many of the students were finished with the assignments they had been given for the two days.  So, I posed three additional challenges:  1) the 9 dots in a square problem (connect the dots with exactly 4 straight continuous lines, 2) show me a piece of paper with only one side, and 3) calculate the numbers 1 through 20, using exactly 4 4's and any operations you know (these kids knew +-*/^!and √). 

Most of the kids did not take part in the challenges - either because they still had work to do on their assignment or because they could pretend that they were working on their assignment and just socialize.  As long as they were pretending well, I didn't bother them.  But there were 3 boys who were fascinated by the challenges and 3 more who were very drawn to them, but a little wary about actually trying them.  I had a great time with the three and enjoyed the others.  At first, they were very frustrated that I refused to give them hints on how to solve the challenges.  One solved the 9 dot problem fairly quickly.  I couldn't tell if he had seen it before or just solved it easily.  The other two really struggled, but eventually got it.  There were several creative and pun-like answers to the paper with one side problem, but eventually two of them got it.  Those two also went on to try the 1 through 20 calculations and made significant progress. 

My fun was seeing them so motivated and eager.  One of the peripheral boys also wanted to see the solution to the paper problem, which I showed him at the end of class. 

Great fun and the reason why I sometimes really like this age student.  And it makes up for the horrid day I had on Tuesday with unruly and disrespectful 3rd graders. 

No comments:

Post a Comment