The Big Idea
I am an Elementary School teacher in Chicago Public School System. I have been teaching for 16 years, the past 5 years as a math teacher of 5th or 6th grades. This year, I will be teaching 5th grade Mathematics to two classes of students. Each class will receive 90 to 120 minutes of instruction each day.
The goal of my teaching is to inspire my students to uncover the mathematician inside themselves. My big idea is grounded in the understanding that math is all around us and that we need it to live. With this understanding, comes the realization that they must know themselves and their level of understanding in mathematics. In order for students to be successful in math, they must be able to identify and acknowledge what it is they know and don’t know in math. This awareness builds confidence and with confidence comes success. Having this confidence allows for students to feel free to learn about the math that takes place in the math class. Students will engage in projects that pushes them to explore, ask questions the work that they do, and relate it to the real world.
I am looking to find or create projects that will enhance the level of student engagement for the content that will be uncovered for students during my class. The units include the following consist:
- Understanding place value
- Adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing whole numbers & decimals
- Adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions & mixed numbers
- Converting measurements
- Understanding volume concepts
- Represent and interpret data
- Write and interpret numerical expressions
- Graph points on the coordinate plane
- Analyze patterns and relationships
- Geometric measurement: classify two-dimensional figures
Performance of Understanding:
The majority of the activities students will engage in will be a part of a project that has not been identified. The one objective I am sure of is that all activities will be a combination of performance tasks, Practice, MARS Tasks, POM, and various mini projects leading to a final project after each unit.
The first mini project is for number sense and will happen at three different times during the year. The first time will be at the beginning of the school year as a way of guiding student towards finding their mathematical value. The project is “Know Your Worth”.
This is a project that I created as a way of getting to know how much student know about numbers and how they work. Student will find the numeric value of the letters in their name and use the mathematical operations to find their value. The Idea is that for most student as the years go on they will learn and understand more about math and increase their name value.
Throughout the year students level of understanding will be monitored using technology, reflections, and discussion stems. Students learning will be made public as a form of students, peers and teacher interaction.
Another idea that I have is for my students to do a community based project where my students have to come up with an idea for raising money to donate to a project they decide on as a class.
I plan to engage my students in hands on activities that will help to keep them interested in the learning taking place in the classroom. I will search the internet or create projects to support the content to be taught. Finding projects may be difficult, however I will also read books that help to develop project based learning activities. The technology used at this point is the TI 30 calculator, as a way to check student work, and digital diaries for students to record their understandings, misunderstandings, and thinking about math.