New and Popular this week
In this lesson, I had students sort pattern blocks. I like using the pattern blocks for this lesson since they are different shapes and colors. The students can look for pieces that are exactly the same to sort into groups. The students do like to build and create designs with the pattern blocks. During this lesson I did need to talk to several students about making sure that they were sorting and not just playing. I put some pattern blocks into a tub and added it to our morning center area. Our morning centers are developmental centers and consist of a variety of items that allow students to practice fine motor and social skills. Seeing me put the pattern blocks in that area reassured the students that they would be able to "play" with the blocks later if they sorted them now.
A little something to keep in mind...
At the start of this unit, I am asking the students to put themselves out there a little bit. When I first ran this lesson, I was shocked at how many of them were unable to correctly position the sticky notes. Although a few members of the class could picture exactly what the graph should look like, at least 4-5 of the sticky notes were incorrectly positioned. In my first class, the kids began snickering at how far off one or two of the sticky notes were. This could have easily turned ugly if I had not redirected this energy and emphasized to the students that "I LOVE wrong answers." The incorrectly positioned sticky notes served as nice outliers of the function and really supplemented our discussion on the continuous nature of the exponential function. Emphasizing to the students that wrong answers have great value was a key to the roll out of this unit. If nothing else, it showed the students that exponential growth is truly difficult to wrap our mind around, especially when we are "linear" experts!