Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Penny Problem

Today was a unique day.  As part of our Valentine's Day celebration, the student council organized a fund raiser and donated proceeds to the American Heart Association.  Here's how it worked.  Students would put change on their teachers' desks and the teachers had to count all of the change before they could start teaching class.  As you can well imagine, almost all of the change was pennies.

So here is the question I posed to 2nd block.
I counted $13.17 worth of pennies.  If I was going to tile the floor with them, how much space would it take up?

Also, here is the question I posed to 3rd block.
I counted $12.04 worth of pennies.  If I could stack them all, how tall would the tower of pennies be?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Computer Aided Differentiation

As we all know, there is a constant push for computer aided, differentiated instruction in the math curriculum.  I have previously been part of a case study and have used such programs in my classroom, often with little success.  The main hurdle that I faced was student engagement.  I attempted ending each classes with computer time.  I have also tried dedicating two days to the computer program and leaving the other three days for instruction.  Neither of these strategies have seemed to help.

Here are my questions for you:

1. My newest idea is that students log in to the computer program at the beginning of each class period instead of the end.  This way as they get bored with the computer exercises, I can take over with a lesson and a change of scenery.  What are your thoughts on this?

2. What programs/websites have you used for skill building and differentiating?

3. What costs were involved?

Thanks for your help!