This Week in the Classroom: Rulers & Frames

Applied Math Made Easy, a hands-on, application-heavy curriculum designed by a pair of teachers from Wisconsin, has a number of great math labs and activities.  Using worksheets to convey directions and learning, the curriculum utilizes a conversationalist tone and “interactive reading” (their term, not mine) to let students learn middle school to high school level mathematics – about a 9th to 10th grade range.  I’ve co-taught with teachers who’ve used this curriculum and I can say this:  it works.  Incredibly well, when your students can read, understand and follow instructions at a high school level. I don’t teach those kids. So … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Rulers & Frames

This Week In the Classroom: Pendulum Art (Swinging From the Rafters)

A quick video of our last major math project in my co-taught Math/Sci course.  I will take no credit, Ms. J took the project out of my clumsy claws and completely rocked it! We nicknamed this the spirograph project and you can tell from the wikipedia link that we are WRONG!  It should probably be described as pendulum art.  In reality, it’s just plain fun. The original prototype… And a great slideshow of other sandart created by our students. Continue reading This Week In the Classroom: Pendulum Art (Swinging From the Rafters)

This Week in the Classroom: Why Mothers Hate Me On Mother’s Day

As a parent, I know that art projects can be a mixed blessing.  Some are breathtaking.  Most should go in the circular file.  Worse still are things my kids build – they fall apart and break.  They take up space. God save me if my sons bring home noise-making pieces of art they have built. As a teacher, I conveniently ignore my own good sense.  I present wind chimes built in preparation for Mother’s Day as part of our “building music” unit. Make it safe and keep the rubber side down. Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Why Mothers Hate Me On Mother’s Day

Technology in Education: The Digital STEM Fair

You’ve been to a science fair, right?  Tri-fold boards, volcanoes and blue ribbons.  This month, my colleagues and I shepherded the “STEM Fair” into existence.  The STEM Fair is a showcase for any Science, Technology, Engineering or Math project our students produced over the course of a month.  My school produced forty to fifty blog posts, hundreds of digital pictures, a dozen two minute videos, thirty presentations and about ten individual physical showcases.  I have a room filled with Japanese art-chemistry, rocket cars, rockets of various propulsion methods, a small robot, a Lego-Branded robot, paper gliders, a seesaw and more.  … Continue reading Technology in Education: The Digital STEM Fair