Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Making Learning Tool Kits

At the #mtasummer conference, I was inspired to lead my students through a learning tool kit creation activity at the start of the year. Throughout the year we'll use the tools we collect and create to solve math problems, create learning posters and learn vocabulary.

What is a Learning Tool Kit?
Our learning tool kits will be large, plastic zip-lock bags that contain rulers, templates and other supplies for writing, drawing and math problem solving.

How Will Students Create Their Tool Kits?
  1. Students and I will meet to discuss what a tool kit is, then we'll list the possible supplies.
  2. Students and I will collect a large number of recyclable templates such as jar lids, box sides and other objects that mirror the standard figures in plane geometry.
  3. Using small sticky labels, we'll label the template shapes in our tool kit with accurate mathematical names and measurements.  
  4. We'll add rulers, protractors and compasses to our kits.
  5. We'll use our tool kits to learn to draw simple 3-d figures and pictures.
  6. We'll make learning posters with our tool kits. 
Because the start of the school year will be devoted to "learning how to learn," creating tool boxes and tool kits to aid our learning endeavor throughout the year is a positive activity.  Then throughout the year as we use the tools and the vocabulary that goes with each tool, students' learning will grow.