Thursday, February 19, 2015

3-D Shapes Scavenger Hunt

Today I was in one of my First Grade teacher's classrooms working on some iPads when I hear, "Hey Mr. Chavez, my kids are about to go on a scavenger hunt for 3-D shapes in our classroom, do you want to join us?" The teacher was telling me that she had set up random stations with various 3D shapes around the room. She wanted her students to take pictures of these objects and label them in Pic Collage. At the beginning of this year I used to use a stability ball to sit on, however I stopped using it because I found a sweet chair to sit on. Needless to say, the ball or "sphere" made an appearance in that classroom today! Anyways, students really enjoyed this activity and I know the was definitely stretched out of her comfort zone. She told me, "I am so used to having control of my classroom, this must be what it is like to let go of some of that control!" She was absolutely right! It was so fun watching kids work in groups working together on this task!

However, I think we both reached a turning point today. As a district, we have been talking about the level of questions that students ask each other and the types of questions we ask the students. While the activity was going on we pulled out a resource from a technology training that we had the day before. This resource had higher level / opened ended questions on it that we could ask the students. I think one of the questions that was asked was, "Explain to me how a cube is still a cube even though they are different sizes." The student then came to the front of the class and was able to explain to the class that the features of a cube stayed the same regardless of the the size of the cube! The teacher started asking more of these questions and it went on for almost 10 minutes! Both the teacher and I were very amazed to hear new conversations about cubes and other 3d shapes taking place that were all stemmed from one open ended question! Once the school day was over me and this teacher talked about what happened that day! Our goal from here on in is for us as well as the students to ask these higher level questions that really hook the students into diving deeper into their learning!

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