I absolutely love the way he signed this letter, "one proud student." What more could I ask for? He even took more sheets home today to do over the weekend. I really feel like I am getting somewhere with these students. They really value this project, having asked them why I get responses like "it makes maths more fun" or "we get paid for doing work, but we actually have to work, it is not just given to us."
It might sound silly but it is letters like this, and comments like those that make all the hours I put into creating and maintaining this project well and truly worthwhile. To be able to get 16 year olds who dislike Maths engaged and active not only in class but also out of it is a great feeling.
Another student was building and costing his house in the creative world during class, and he came to me (or shouted across the room :D) with a blow by blow on how he was working out how much veranda he had just laid and how many blocks were in it. He knew his house was 17X19 squares and he added a 4 wide veranda all the way around. After he started explaining what he needed to do I gave him my whiteboard marker and asked him to draw it on the board and explain it step by step to me.
Another massive grin moment occurred as he did this. He went through processes that I would not have expected and he was way too focussed to even give me a high five as he finished one part of his calculation, he was too busy trying to figure out the next one.
Well that is the good, now onto the not so good, the subtraction relational thinking lesson did not go anywhere near as well as the addition one yesterday. I am not entirely sure why, but I think it may have been to do with the time of the day, or perhaps it was that the students could not see a relationship. So after a bit of time I went through the idea that students could trade one diamond block for 10 gold and then let them at the task again. Some groups got there in the end I think, but we will share our thoughts next week and I will be asking for a bit more feedback from the students as to their thoughts about the lesson. Perhaps one solution would be to ask any student who had a solution to come up and share with the class next week and discuss those strategies with the class.
As always thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment below.