Monday, January 16, 2012

Canadian Artists and Microscopes and Order of Operation

Each week I ask my class what the highlights of their week were.  For me, this week there were a couple.

The grade six social studies/art project went really well.  For one thing I finally went totally paperless and the the assignment is only on our moodle site so that all students had to go there to get the information for  the assignment.  I also encouraged them to save all work in a word document and that makes it easy to cut and paste websites for their bibliography etc.  That doesn't mean all my students did this but many did.  The project is fairly simple but gets them using different sources of information and responding in different ways.  They had to "interview the artist, choose a favorite painting and recreate art in the style of the artist. 

  I showed them a simple way to display the project by folding a large piece of construction paper and mounting it on it.  I also like it that the whole project was completed in a week and I was able to have them working on this in the computer lab or classroom while I taught the grade sevens math or science.  Although the assignment was due Friday, I encouraged them to have them done Thursday as we all know how things can go wrong at the last minute.  Most did have the project completed.  We were going to present them Friday but I had had to postpone working with microscopes from Thursday so that I couldn't postpone that again so today is the day.  I did look them over this weekend and discovered one of my students was rather mixed up so that I little reteaching re researching needs to take place.  Oh well.  I am going to post a few pictures I took of their projects. 
 I am going to show you a few more of their projects.  First you can see the art that they did in the style of their artist and then their research and the pieces of art they chose.

Another highlight this week was the grade six students working with microscopes.  They were ecstatic.  That is the only word I can use.  In the text they were to begin with preparing slides of onion skin to look at, but I decided to start with prepared slides that had been given to us by the scientists that visited us last year.  I think that worked out really well because they could get used to using microscopes without worrying about preparing slides.  We will do this this week. 

We had a great variety of slides and it was a great afternoon.  I had a small group as the seven's were doing Social Studies in the library and we had students move from station to station so that they were able to see all the slides.  Students had one microscope for two students and were at a table with two other students. 

Finally a low point became a high point.  I had the worst time with the grade sevens doing order of operations in math.  Why is it students seem to hate to write things down and go through the steps? Anyway we did succeed by going back to whole numbers and then back to decimals and the next day they all could do it.  I also think they began to see that a little method could save them time and frustration in the end.  Hmm... a lesson I often seem to need to relearn...

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