Saturday, 19 August 2017

Learning Opportunites

I've always felt, strongly, the need to encourage students to be proud when they make a mistake as a mistake is always a great way of ensuring new learning.

So, in my class, I have students ring the bell. We call it a 

Learning Opportunity

And the student who has made the error has the opportunity to inform others of what they have learnt from 'making the mistake'. 

Students are always proud to share what they have learnt and it  erases any shame or embarrassment commonly associated with the making of an error. 

I hope you can use this idea in your classroom, too!

Thursday, 15 June 2017

What's the Time Mrs Ward?

Time is a difficult concept for children to understand because it isn't tens based. 

There's 60 mins in and hour and half of that is 30 .... and it is so much easier when it is 10' s and 5's or 100's and 50's. 

There's fractions halves and quarters... there's pasts and to's and it's a lot for children to take in.  They require a foundation of understanding in all these areas before learning to tell the time, 'clicks'.

But... don't despair!

I believe a hands-on approach can help with understanding.

Draw a large circle on the whiteboard.

Next, mark that places for 12, 6, 3 and 9.

By this time, the children will begin working out what you are making.

Ask students to help you place the numerals on the clock face. 

Notice the four main numbers are in a different colour. 

The numerals on the 'past' side of the clock are pink.

The numerals on the "to' side of the clock are green.

Add the minute amounts (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, etc.) around the outside of the clock.

Next, it's time to place the hands on the clock.

Ask children to make different times to fully understand their knowledge of telling the time.

Commas in a List

I used my punctuation pack this week to demonstrate how we use commas with a list of words.

We started with a list of words on the board.

I had the words already printed on cards. I also had the word "and" as I knew we would need it.

I had the children stand up in order and then had other children hold the orange 'commas' (they are a little difficult to see in the photo but they are holding them!). The last student is holding a red full stop. They had to come and stand in between the children with the words.

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Learn about Time

Time time telling is always difficult to understand. So many maths concepts are set to base ten numbers but time has 60 mins in 1 hour and all those numbers, and matching them with 5 minute interval numbers, time past and time to, and halves and quarters ... 
Phew! No wonder it's a tough task to master!

So..., because I think children learn best by 'doing', I decided to create a lesson where children can touch all the parts of the clock and move them around.

I started by drawing a large circle on the carpet with chalk. (This is a common tool in my classroom, as chalk simply sweeps off the carpet leaving no trace.)

I had prepared numerals on coloured sheets of paper. I purposely made numbers that sit opposite on the clock, the same colour, so they look like 'pairs'.

I also had organised the 'digital increments' of 5, 10, 15, 20 etc. so they could be placed 
on the exterior of the clock face.

Cards with o'clock times, half past and quarter past times were also prepared and ready for use.

I had 2 rolls of paper wrap which I used as the hands of the clock.
So, the lesson started....

I asked individual children to place numerals on the circle in the places they felt they belonged.

I gave children a time and they had to use the hands to make that time. We also made the matching digital time to use as a visual.

Such a fun way to learn!