#Peel21st Blog Hop – When Tech and Numeracy Collide

It’s the 3rd #peel21st BlogHop I have had the opportunity to work with many classes this year in a variety of different capacities; support teacher, co-teacher, filling in on that day when there was no supply to cover the class or simply when I had the opportunity to drop in and see what was going on when I heard excitement.

Area/Perimeter and Minecraft with the Grade 3’s (@CSVGrade3) and (@PGsInquires)

The students in these two classes were so enthusiastic about Minecraft and being able to teach their teachers how to build a variety of different structures that in turn their teachers turned that energy into a teaching opportunity.  What I  happened upon was students constructing various structures within their Minecraft world to represent various Areas and Perimeters.  The level of engagement was significant and it was clear that the students had developed a good understanding of the concepts being explored.  The best of all, it was being done using one of the most popular games amongst students.

I did not have the opportunity to take any photos of the students working within Minecraft however, here is some of the non-tech exploration of Math and Minecraft that evolved from the tech.

Math meets Google Earth and The Pyramids

The Grade 8’s @CountrysidePDSB are your typical group of Grade 8 students whatever, that may actually be.  About two weeks prior to a visit in the computer lab they approach their teacher and asked is they could learn about the major empires of the world.  This idea evolved and resulted in the learning about the Egyptians.  Now they’ve likely done this before back in Grade 5 but she went with the idea and great things happened.  Eventually, Tech met Math when she presented them with the following challenge, “Pick 3 of the Ancient Egyptian Pyramids. Research their measurements and calculate the volume and the surface area for each.”  I happened to venture into the lab on this day when the group was feverishly researching the dimensions of the ancient structures.  I at first questioned the likelihood of being able to find the data readily available somewhere on the internet or for that matter readily available in some sort of book on our library shelves.  Moments later, the idea came to me, why not explore the pyramids using Google Earth, it would show each in 3-dimensions.  The students continue to plod along with their plan of finding the measurements and using known formulas to solve the challenge at hand.   I pushed my crazy idea of using tech and Google Earth and the result was…

A 3D view of the Great Pyramid of Giza

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 9.12.09 PM

 

Some approximate measurements using the ruler tool and the 2D image.

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The length of one side

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 9.02.19 PM

 

The height of that side

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 9.01.51 PM

 

Look we figured out how to use the ruler tool itself to do the area calculation and the others below.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 9.01.26 PM

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Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 9.00.05 PM

Using information that was readily available online at their fingertips along with a basic tool “The ruler” a few members of the group gathered the necessary information and applied previous knowledge of perimeter, area and volume to solve the challenge.  Of course as some of the images show, they figured out how to have the tech-tool solve the challenge for themselves.  All in all a great meeting of tech and math.

The Math of SGTS

SGTS, what’s that?  Sorry, top secret unless it has leaked or you caught one of my prior blog entries.  But in working with our Grade 6 class @CountrysidePDSB and their space inquiry we will be working with various mathematical concepts that will help the group predict where our package may end up, how fast it will get there, how long it will take to recover and.  Of course being able to work this out will be a key component to further mathematical exploration that will focus on data gathered during the testing.  More to come regarding this meet up.  Follow the Twitter feed @SGTS_CSVPS

Posted on April 14, 2015, in #peel21st Blog Hops, Home and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. The google earth activity is so cool!! When you explained it to me I didn’t really picture it that way until I saw the visuals! What a really powerful lesson for your students. I bet they were really engaged!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love that google Earth Idea. It is amazing what tools are available to us now in the 21st century. tech allows us to do things that were never possible before. This in turn only strengthens our students mathematical process. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

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