Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tweet! Tweet! No, this is not Twitter. It is birds chirping to live in our birdhouses. Unit 1 in second grade math is Measurement and Data. Our Real World Experience is building birdhouses, paper ones of course. The students constructed a paper birdhouse choosing from five different geometric shapes – cubes, cylinders, rectangular prisms, triangular prisms, and cones. They brainstormed materials and tools needed and constructed their model birdhouse (carpenters and contractors), designed the outline and provided accurate measurements in centimeters (architects). They then surveyed the class as to which shapes were used and recorded the data in a tally chart. Using their data, the students created bar graphs and line plots (mathematicians). Finally, we all wrote our own explanatory essay about the math used in planning and constructing our birdhouses (authors).
The children were certainly excited and engaged in this Real World Experience. One student wrote, “It was fun making my birdhouse.” Another wrote, “When it was finished, I was happy!” Other comments included: “It was tough and exciting.” and “We loved making our birdhouses. We want to do it again!” So watch for the birds swarming around Goodrich. They want to live here with us in our beautiful birdhouses!

When I reflect on this experience, I felt the students did a better job than they did last year. Some of it may be that I did a better job guiding the students since this is my second year teaching the new Common Core Math Standards. But more importantly, I feel it was their second year with the standards and their confidence and expertise with the subject matter. Great things are ahead for all of our students as they progress in school with the Common Core Standards.

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