Saturday, September 23, 2017

Creative Math Workshop

Yesterday the students engaged in a well-planned endeavor that was beyond their collective, current skill level. As that became apparent, the teachers in the room shifted the teaching/learning to a review of the concepts using a number of short videos. Upon playing a music video, many children started to dance--they were very good dancers. The first instinct was to ask them to sit down and listen, but before I did that I watched recognizing that many learn well as they move their bodies to music and sing the lyrics. I let them dance, and then noted that students sometimes use dance and song to learn concepts, and then showed them a few videos that exemplify this. There was clear interest so I said that I'd have a math music video contest, a contest I've since decided to broaden to a math creative expression endeavor and contest.

I'll organize the creative project requirements which will include the following:
  • Focus your creative project on teaching specific information from our place value unit
  • Work in mediums you enjoy such as visual arts, video, song, instrumental, theater, or dance.
  • Make time to plan the work together, practice, review with a teacher, produce, and share.
I'll create a few opportunities for children to come to school early or stay late to work on their projects. 

Toward the end of the unit, there will be a time to share the projects with classmates and perhaps others. 

I'm not sure where this project will take us, but the reason I'm starting it is that I want to engage the students in the learning, and there is clearly a desire from these students to use art and creativity to learn. Let's see what happens.