Monday, October 31, 2011

2nd class, 1st day

As I continue posting notes about using the Wii in my school, I will probably combine both classes into one post (unless something extraordinary happens) to keep the posts from getting out of control. However, I wanted to make the first post for the separate classes separate. So, this is the 2nd half of the 4th grade Math class.

(picture is one of the student's page collected at the end of class).
As class started Nicole again passed out paper and pencil and explained what we were going to do. As she was more comfortable in how the game progressed, this time she ran everything from the front of the classroom. She put the problems on the board as they appeared throughout the game. The students again had to write down each problem as they came up and Nicole went through the classroom asking different students for the answers. She would then go through the problem up on the board using the correct terminology (borrowing, carrying, etc) reviewing step by step. For example, the first yardage was 396 to the hole. The student hit the ball and they had 164 yards left to the hole. So how far did he hit the ball? 396-164 = 232 yards (which happened to be one of the longest hits of the day). The students went on coming up and hitting the ball as they were supposed to. They were very excited and especially excited when the ball went in the hole! There was a good amount of cheering during hits and several "oohs" and "aahs" as well. This half took a little longer to play and the last person got to go as the bell was ringing. At the end of class we again collected the papers to see what the students had written down.
We had the same issue in this half as we did in the first, the student unfamiliar with decimal subtraction and with conversion from yards to feet (or feet to yards). One difference with this group, Nicole did have to remind a student to write down the problems as they were busy focusing on the golf more so than the Math. I know, hard to believe isn't it!

4th grade Subtraction, class 1

Let me begin by saying that since this is my first post about using the Wii in the new school this post may be a little longer winded than usual. There are a couple of different things about my new school. First of all, there are more kids (almost 3 times as many). So, we have two classes of every grade. Our 4th grade is the class that we chose to begin the Wii project with. Half of the class has Math in the morning (first period), and the other half is in the afternoon (after lunch). Nicole and I had obviously already decided what we were going to play and discuss how she would keep track of classroom management. We decided to begin with Wii Resort Golf (the Resort game came with the Wii so no cost involved with another game yet). We were going to play 3 holes on course A. The course doesn't really matter, and there are 3 to choose from so the students can have different views and starting yardages at least a few times. (Of course, even if they play the same course each time will have different yardage because each hit will be a different distance.) The option for holes is 3, 9 or a full 18 so we decided that 3 would be the way to go.

So, I went in first thing and set up the Wii in the classroom. We have the projectors hooked up via video cable and audio goes directly into a radio via an input cable. I just hooked up the Wii using the included cables (again, no real cost involved). When the students came in we had the system up and ready to go at the intro Wii page. As soon as they walked in most of the students recognized the music and asked about playing the Wii (we had told them that we were going to play it earlier so it wasn't a complete surprise or anything). Nicole had each student get out paper and pencil and take their seats. There was a lot of excitement and even a few Ohhs and Ahhs as we got into the setup for the game. Nicole had all the students put their names on their papers and number them first through 10 (we will need more numbers than that). The yardage to the first hole was 396 yards so we had all the students write down that first number as problem number 1. We gave the controller to our first student (for this time we just started in the front and rent in row order) and had him swing away. After he hit all the students put the distance left to the hole (which is what the computer tells you) and they figured out how far he had hit the ball! This went on two more times until we hit our first snag. The student hit it on the green which changed the distance from yards to feet. At his time the 4th graders do not know how to convert from yards to feet (or vice versa) so we just skipped this problem and went on to the next (since this post Nicole has done a lesson on conversion so this problem has been solved). Our next problem came in with decimal subtraction and addition. Once you are on the green it gives you the distance to the tenths place. Again, the 4th graders didn't have much experience with lining up the decimal places so that took some time to show (Nicole did it right there during the lesson). They understood the idea of lining up the decimal points and doing the operation well enough. Then we came to our third different thing (not really a problem, just something different) of the class. The next person hit the ball and went beyond the cup which makes a new math problem. She had 43.2 feet to go to the cup, but she hit it beyond the cup 18.3 feet (she really got a hold of the club!) so, how far did she hit the ball. We asked the students to decide what operation we were going to need to do; and, after a little prodding, we got the correct answer of addition. Again, not a problem, but a different task at hand. We had enough time for everybody to hit and since there was still a few minutes left in class they wanted the teachers to hit. Both Nicole, myself, and the 4th grade homeroom teacher (who joins the class for Math) had a turn. The students were all very excited when we hit the ball (we wound up putting it in the cup). At the end of class Nicole collected all of the student's sheets so she could go over them.

All in all, everything went well. The students seemed to get what was going on and all worked on math for the entire class period. I heard some good comments, my favorite being "This is the funnest math class ever!"
pictures from website Last picture copy of student's work collected at end of class