Sunday, March 29, 2015

Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites Chapter 7: Manipulatives, Experiments, Labs & Models


It is time for Chapter 7 of the book study. I'm linking up today with Deanna Jump to talk about the use of manipulatives, experiments, labs & models. 

Using manipulatives in math is as familiar as breathing for me. We do tons of things with them. From explorations at the start of the year...

To using them to play math games...

To using them to create questions for Domino Addition (wish I had a photo!) where they pull a domino to created the question to complete. 

I use manipulatives a lot in math and I am very comfortable doing so. I wouldn't teach math any other way. Besides the benefits to using manipulatives, doing strictly pencil and paper work would be way too b.o.r.i.n.g!!!!

But, I have to be honest here. I do not do nearly enough of the other parts of this stragtegy. I do not comfortably lean towards the experiments, labs and models part of this strategy. The subject that should naturally lead to these strategies is science and, I have got to say that, science is not my forte. Plus, when it comes to our Science curriculum, it seems that some units lend themselves more to experiments than others. 

For example, we are currently studying the seasons. I am sure that there are some experiments I could come up with but I don't know what they are! We will be integrating art into this unit and I suppose I could try to have them create a model. But, to be honest, it would be a huge stretch for me to figure out how to do that and, with time constraints already on me to complete the unit, it probably won't happen. Who am I kidding? It won't happen!!!!

Whereas, our last unit on Force & Motion just naturally lent itself to doing experiments. I wish I had some photos to show you but we did all sorts of ramps and made things slide down them. We added friction to see what would happen. We made predictions and then, after the experiments, we observed what happened. I wished I had gotten more photos but I was too busy running around trying to help 48 students do experiments at one time. Yep! I was teaching both classes AT THE SAME TIME!!! (Note to self: never try to do that unit with 48 kids at the same time again!!!!!)

So, I definitely have room for improvement in this strategy. I'll keep you posted if I try something new and let you know how it goes!



1 comment:

  1. Luckily we use FOSS kits for science and they largely rely on the constructivist approach toward learning - lots of hands-on, experiments - if it weren't for those kits, I think I'd find it hard to do labs/experiments as well!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade