|My Ed Tech World|
Recently, I came across the warm up "100 Numbers to Get Students Talking" and knew it would be the perfect lead in for the activity I had planned! In a nutshell, students have to take turns circling numbers up to 100 in order. They can help each other locate the numbers, but students can only circle a number when it is their turn. Doing the activity a couple of times, students may pick up that there is a pattern when they are circling the numbers. My purpose in doing this activity was to get students talking to one another, encouraging each other, and hopefully doing some critical thinking. They might notice that there are patterns in where the numbers are located on the sheet. I never said it was a competition nor was it intended to be, but man, the students were sure competitive! They wanted to have the highest score in the class, and those groups who worked together definitely were successful! I wanted to do this as a little warmup so that as they started working on their main activity for the day, they would understand that identifying and building with patterns is very important.
For their activity for the day, I asked the students to use Straw Builders to build the tallest free standing tower. This is a great activity for getting a group of students to work together towards a common goal. It seems like every time I do this activity, it starts out with students working individually on "something" and think that it will magically work with everyone else's "something." When they realize it doesn't work that way, they usually end up taking most things apart and start building from scratch together. Like the math warm up, those groups that started off working together made best use of their ideas, time, and resources. Several groups did not have enough time to build a free standing structure - they had a lot of experimenting and rebuilding and either their towers were not that tall or they had a hard time coming to a consensus for how to build. Even if their tower wasn't the tallest, I heard a lot of great conversations as I was walking around the room. They might not realize it now, but their communication and collaboration in a group setting will take them further than individual work.
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