One of our new standards in seventh grade math under the Common Core State Standards asks students to be able to visualize and predict what two-dimensional shapes will result from slicing a three-dimensional object with a plane. For example, slicing a sphere will result in the creation of a circle, but slicing a cube will result in figures ranging from a triangle to a hexagon! These visualization skills are best built from a range of activities and, while hands-on manipulatives are a valuable starting place, using the ChromeBooks has allowed students to broaden their range of experiences and get a much better sense of all possible results.
In this photo, students work in cooperative learning groups with foam manipulatives–various three-dimensional forms that have been sliced to show the resulting two-dimensional shape.
In addition to working with the hands-on foam shapes, students worked extensively with an interactive website found at http://www.shodor.org/interactivate/activities/CrossSectionFlyer/. This student is manipulating the on-line image to create different two-dimensional slices.
While both approaches to the material are valuable, using them together creates a richer learning experience for the students.
In another example of ways using technology in the classroom enhances the learning experience, the photo below shows three students working together to review in preparation for the PARCC test. Since the PARCC test covers material from earlier in the year, the students were reviewing content from early January, but didn’t have their paper copies of the notes (on Percent Increase and Decrease). They searched in Google Classroom and brought up electronic copies of the notes that they then used to complete the practice problems. Instead of wasting time searching through binders or skipping the review altogether, the students were able to use their time well thanks to having access to the computers and Google Classroom.
Here is a student’s perspective on having ChromeBooks in the classroom:
28 April 2015
My name is Sydney and I am in 7th Grade Pre-Algebra 1 with Ms. Durling. In our daily classes we use chromebooks a lot but not as much as we do with Ms. Durling. We use our chromebooks to work in Google Classroom. Without this technology we wouldn’t be able to learn in a new and fun way. We use the chromebooks to learn with simulations. We used these when we were learning about cross sections and integers. I think having the chromebooks every day will be more helpful. For example, at the beginning of class we usually watch a video to prepare us for our lesson that day. With the chromebooks we can just watch it on our own with headphones. We can also use these to work on google forms which allow Ms. Durling to check in on how much we are learning. I like having the chromebooks in class everyday because there is usually a line for the answer key at the front of the room. And how am I supposed to know if I did my work right if I cannot check it. With the chromebooks Ms. Durling can hand them out and we can check the answer on the computer. Also, we can watch videos on the chromebooks if we get stuck or confused on a lesson. This was a very thoughtful gift, and I am sure you weren’t thinking about all the reason why we needed them that I just listed when you gave them to us, but I know that you were thinking with the kindness in your heart. Thank you very much!
7th Grade Pre-Algebra 1