It’s hot out, the sun is shining, school is almost over and everyone in the classroom is starting to tune out. I know some of my friends in the southern USA have only a week or so left of school, but here in Morocco, we have 5 1/2 weeks. So, how are we staying motivated to learn? Last week, we took math outside and had the best time learning about angles.
First, we were all points on a grid, with each child standing on one of the intersecting lines formed by the grout between the floor tiles. While we stood on our points, we practiced rotating clockwise and anticlockwise (counterclockwise), doing 90 degree turns and 45 degree turns, and reflecting over a mirror line. Next, we pretended we were on a map and computed the degrees we would turn if we went from pointing in one cardinal directions to another. Finally, we pretended we were on a clock and computed the degrees we would turn as time passed on the clock.
Once students had a really good understanding of right angles, we discussed the other types of angles, including acute, obtuse and reflex. We created these angles with our arms, and then broke into groups to hunt for angles that we could find outside. My Year 3 students (2nd grade) looked for right angles. My Year 4 students (3rd grade) looked for acute angles. My Year 5 students (4th grade) looked for obtuse angles – and estimated the number of degrees in the angle. My Year 6 students (5th grade) looked for reflex angles – and estimated the number of degrees in the angle. *Easiest differentiation of the year!
The students found some angles in very interesting places, including tree branches, my co-teacher’s shoes and shadows created on the wall.
After all of our activity, the students were able to focus very well as we added the Types of Angles sheet to our Interactive Math Notebooks and began our reflections.
What are you doing to keep your students motivated at this time of year?