I love teaching math to 3rd graders! Today, I was able to take the place at the teacher center. I used EduCreations on my iPad to discuss with the students fractions as part of a whole. The most I had in my group at a time was 6 students. I started with a picture of a circle from my photos and unequally divided it. We discussed why it was not a fraction. Then I used the same circle and divided into 2 equal parts. We talked about the circle being in halves. Next, I shaded one part of the circle and asked how much of the circle was shaded. The students told me 1/2. We then went on to discuss what 1/2 represents. I gave students control of my iPad. I would draw another shape and ask a student to divide it into 5 equal parts. Then the student would pass it to the next student and I would tell him or her to shade in 2 of the parts. I would also have that student write the fraction the represents the number of shaded regions. Next, the student would pass the iPad on to the next person. I would ask that student which number is the dominator and which was the numerator.
By describing this scenario, I wanted to explain how students can use an iPad or mobile device to communicate learning. I feel that is is extremely important that the “chalk holders” are not the teachers but rather the students. Not only does this engage the students but it allows the teacher to observe the student’s thinking and allows other students to contribute.
As I observed the class today (while at the teacher station), I watched the groups at the Promethean board center interact with the content and with each other to help understand their fraction knowledge. I also watched the groups at the iPad center. Students were interacting with content by watching the short tutorial and then taking the quiz via Edmodo. I have looked at the quiz results. One student answered all 5 questions correctly. This is a student who struggles academically. I am very excited for this student because of the success this project has brought to his or her learning.
The best part is that students were actively engaged in math for 60 minutes and enjoyed every minute of it. Tomorrow will be slightly different. Students are going to being answering questions via ActivExpressions, using EduCreations to demonstrate a fraction problem, and practicing an extended response question. I will have some formative data to guide the next couple days of teaching.