Multiplication Using Literature & A Tower Made Out of Spaghetti: STEM Design Challenge

Saturday, September 5, 2015
Happy Long Weekend! I love long weekends because you get to rest and relax and there is NO MONDAY to dread.

Last week my class assessed their knowledge on interpreting graphs, started to review multi digit multiplication and constructed a tower made out of spaghetti!

Assessing Graph Knowledge:
I first called over students four at a time.  I gave each child a sheet with 9 problems that assessed their graphing knowledge.  Here is a copy of the quick check I used. We assessed stem and leaf, line plot or dot plot, and double bar graphs.  While I was "quick checking" students, the class used blendspace to watch videos and games that I had planned ahead of time.

Blendspace is amazing! You can have blendspace as a stand alone application or you can link your blendspace through your edmodo.  If you use edmodo, look at the app store in edmodo.  Blendspace is a free app and it links up your classes into the blendspace for easy sharing.  If you are using a stand alone application, then you will just share your blendspace using a url.  To learn more about blendspace visit the site: https://www.blendspace.com/
Here is a copy of the blendspace that my students worked on while I assessed students: https://www.blendspace.com/lessons/z21SbhPulkk6cA/monday-august-31st

After I assessed students I looked at the data and decided who needed reteaching.  While I was small grouping and reteaching this week, students worked on a Graphing Slide Show Project.  They worked on this for about 20-30min a day for 4 days. Here is a copy of the project outline.  I used this outline to also create a rubric to grade the projects with, you can access the rubric HERE.

Multiplication Using Literature:

In a previous post I wrote about my love for using literature to teach or reinforce multiplication. Reluctant mathematicians often feel more comfortable with story books than a 20 question worksheet.  We explore the math within these books, using our interactive math journals.

I have used Multiplying Menace by Pam Calvert to reinforce multiplication.  This book even hits on multiplying by fractions.   So we will revisit this book when we learn multiplying fractions with whole numbers. I have developed a board game that uses the problems in the book as a way to have fun while multiplying. 
To purchase: Click Here

I love Minnie's Diner by Dayle Ann Dodds, it allows us to focus on doubles and how quickly numbers increase as you double the numbers. Next we explored how quickly numbers increase as we triple them.
To purchase: Click Here

Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jar by Anno is fascinating to read with students.  I love how it explores factorials, on a level 5th grade students can understand.  It actually shows how fast numbers can grow when multiplying using tiny dots.  This is always a favorite in my class.  To purchase: Click Here

STEM Design Challenge

On Friday, we completed our first STEM design challenge! I love doing these challenges because it allows everyone to be successful.  The students also learn how to work as a team.  This week we built spaghetti towers that can support the weight of a large marshmallow. 

Here is a copy of the slide show with directions.   Students had 25 minutes to build the largest tower.  






Next week: We will assess multiplication for reteaching purposes and move onto division.

I would love to hear from you! Please post comments below if you use any of these activities or books in your class! 

Until next week, Peace Love and Math!
Jennifer 






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