In order to motivate the students and have them begin to explore the real world problems of angles, I will read the book "The Adventures of Angles" by Kristie Carpenter. In this book, a student meets a family of angles, and learns how their size is comparable to humans' age. The Angles teach him how they grow by degrees, instead of age.
Think-Pair-Share: In pairs, students: 1) explain their answer, 2) provide another example (determine another time when this occurs), and 3) list 3 angles around the room. Students report out their reasoning. The clock forms a right angle; both hands meet to form what looks like a right corner. 3:00, 3:30, 9:30 are other times when a right angle forms. Some other examples are: corners of the wall, floor tiles, edges of furniture. With CCSS, it's not enough to have students find one angle, but instead, be able to find multiple ways to look at the same problem.
I know that students learn, in part, by being able to talk about the content. The Think-Pair-Share method is helpful because it structures the discussion. Students follow a process that limits off-task thinking and off-task behavior. Accountability is built in because each student reports to a partner, and then partners must report to the class. Since there is silent thinking time, eager students who always shout out the answer to do take over. The question has been asked, and everyone is thinking about the answer; this is very different from asking a question and then calling on an individual student. Students get to try out their answers with one other person before having to report out before the rest of their classmates. Quiet, below-level, less confident students who would never speak up in class are providing an answer to someone this way. Students also discover that they rethink their answer in order to express it to someone else, and they also often elaborate on their answer or think of new ideas as the partners share. As students collaborate, I'm expecting to hear them get one answer successfully, and then shut down to other ideas. I'm expecting students to take turns talking, and for partners to "piggy back" on their partner's speech to confirm or rebute an answer. I'm expecting students to offer helpful hints on how to successfully move the hands of the clocks.
One very important thing about CCSS is that students have to explain they're answer, as well as look for other answers too. In this activity, students practice looking at problems with their viewpoint and with their partner's viewpoint. I facilitated this by looking at our wall clock and turning my head to the side. I used my Punch-and-Judy clock, from when I taught primary grades to help with this. As I manipulated the hands, the students saw (and remembered) that the minute hand moved by itself. (MP5: Use appropriate tools strategically.) The students then used similar manipulatives to help solve this problem.
Together, we view Measuring and Classifying Angles, an interactive whiteboard resource from Promethean Planet. I use this resource because my students love using technology, and are weak in math. If I can use something they love and combine something they don't love yet, then I can expect their motivation to increase. I can get my students in the routine of "playing a game" during math time with technology. Students use hand gestures to indicate their responses to questions in this activity. I trigger the response using a countdown, 5-4-3-2-1,... students give their letter signal (multiple choice - A, B, C, D, E). This allows me to formatively assess, in the moment, who understands and who does not. I use these specific hand gestures to signal answers (insert video clip). Some other ways you could do this is to prepare each students with 4 cards: one card with an a, b, c, and d. The students can hold up the card which indicates their answer choice. Each method serves the same purpose. I then extend my students' learning by encouraging them to speak to their table partner to justify their response. I put on the board the sentence frame: "I know this,.... because,..." Then a partner can concur and justify his/her response as well.
Students then use the SmartBoard to sort the angles into the appropriate category.
I call out straight angle, and students hold their arms out straight. I call out right, and students hold their arms as such. We continue to name all angles, including obtuse and acute angles as well. Students use kinesthetic intelligence to active more areas of their brain here.
Using a picture of a House, students find and label:
•2 acute angles
•2 right angles
•2 obtuse angles
Students share out their pictures.
Next, students do a Baseball Diamond Angle Search, looking for obtuse and acute angles to color-code.
Common misconceptions are that students only find the most obvious angles, and then think that they have completed the assignment. Some students mix up which angles are which colors.
My expectations are that students will find these activities particularly motivating, especially because I have some baseball/softball players in my classroom. I also expect my students to confer with their partner when they're complete to compare answers.
To make this assignment open-ended, you can tell students that another class determined answers that were wrong, and that you are hopeful that our class can "get it". A healthy competition increases motivation sometime. Then, to incorporate writing, students can write to the other class to prove how they got the correct answer, and play the role of "teacher' in doing so.
Today we close with an interactive read aloud. I think using stories in math is just as compelling for 5th grade as it is for 1st grade. Everyone enjoys a good story, and the reading "adventure" draws more students into the math discussion. In an upper grade, sometimes it's difficult to do "fun stuff", so I try hard to create interdisciplinary units to kill two birds with one stone. Here, I can work in math and reading. I call my students to the carpet, and each students sits next to their partner of a similar reading level. Throughout the book, i periodically stop to ask comprehension questions of the students; after posing a question, I have students turn and talk to their partner about their individual answers. I rotate throughout the classroom, listening, and making comments. I then pull everyone back together, and report out a few of the students' comments. All in all, my students were in awe of this book, and were eager to tell me that this was personification, and used figurative language.
In The Adventure of the Angles, a boy travels on an adventure to a land where Angles are alive, and learns how their size is comparable to age in humans.