January 27

SuperStar Mathletes of the Week

A big congratulations to our new SuperStar Mathletes. Each week, we celebrate accomplishments and give special recognition to students who really shine.

Luca P. is a Mathlete! He has achieved (at last count) 2949 Live Mathletics points in the level 2 category with 92% accuracy! That’s 180 games played. Wow!

 

Joseph has earned a whopping 5810 participation points and has earned 2 Bronze certificates. He’s inching closing towards a silver!

Way to go! Keep up the great work, Grade 3 and 4s.

Parents, don’t forget that you if you don’t have a Parent Registration already, you can sign up here using the details of your child’s account: http://www.mathletics.com.au/parent/
You’ll then have access to view your his/her progress and results, including both weekly points summary, certificates earned and a tally of total points accumulated.

How to Play Live Mathletics

Choose your level. You can play the computer or choose Find Me a Game to play against other Mathletes.

Place the cursor over the the level tabs to see what type of questions you could be asked.

Try to choose the right level for you – look out for Bonus Points! You could earn double points if you challenge yourself!

Your goal is to improve your ranking. Your ranking is based on your recent average.

There are five different rankings to achieve: Raging Rookie, Junior Giant, Speed Demon, Almost Einstein and Human Calculator.

After you have picked your level, Mathletics will find other Mathletes for you to compete against (unless you have selected the Computer). It is possible that you might get to play the computer if there is not a good match with another Mathlete available.

The game engine selects games based on competing Mathlete’s recent averages, so the race is as fair as possible.

One game lasts 60 seconds and you have to answer as many questions correctly as you can.

You are racing against the clock, your recent average and the other Mathletes. The other Mathletes you play against will have the same ranking as you.

Be careful! 3 mistakes and you’ll strike out! If you Strike Out it will change your average and you may go down a level in your ranking.

Keep an eye out for the red line – this represents your Personal Best score.If you can beat this – you earn bonus credits for your Mathlete!

How Do Students Earn Certificates?

20 consistent weeks of work = 1 Gold Certificate

Certificates are granted when a student earns 1000 points or more within one week. This encourages students to complete a healthy amount of work each week and rewards students for every week they practice. Students initially earn a Bronze Certificate, then a Silver Certificate once five Bronzes have been earned. With four Silver Certificates, a student then receives the much-coveted Gold Certificate, demonstrating their long-term commitment and developing ability.

January 22

Addition Strategies

This past week, students in our class have been learning to be flexible problem solvers. We’ve learned 5 different strategies for adding numbers. Some strategies are faster than others, and other strategies are easier to explain. Knowing a second strategy is helpful because it can help us to check our answer.

Listen to one of our classmates give a tutorial in how to add using the strategy that involves no regrouping. Have a listen…

 

January 20

SuperStar Mathletes of the Week

Starting today (Friday), our class is going to celebrate the dedication and hard work that our students put forth in using Mathletics. This online math tool helps us practice computation and improves our math fluency, especially when we use LIVE Mathletics. We love competing with one another and even with students from around the globe!  If you’ve never heard of it before, click here to find out more!

Today we celebrate the participation of Cassie, Ava Y, and Vanessa on Mathletics!

Cassie has worked hard to achieve a total of 8437 points, earning herself 3 Bronze certificates.

 

Ava Y. has achieved a total of 8677 points, also earning 3 Bronze certificates.

 

 

Another SuperStar is Vanessa who has earned a total of 2078 points on LIVE Mathletics with 95% accuracy. Wow! (In Live Mathletics, one point is awarded for every correct answer given).

Congratulations to all of you!

How do I earn certificates?

A certificate is awarded to a student once they have earned 1000 points in a single week. Only one certificate is awarded each week, to help encourage sustained study by the student. Points are awarded across Mathletics in a number of ways…

  • Live Mathletics – students earn one point per correct answer
  • Live Mathletics – students earn two points per correct answers on their bonus level (indicated by a gold star next to the level number)
  • Mathletics curriculum – 10 points per correct answer within individual activities
  • Mathletics curriculum – 20 points per correct answer within a “Test”

Keep working hard Grade 3/4s!

Stay tuned next Friday to hear about more SuperStar Mathletes from our class.

 

December 20

Symmetry…seriously!

Line symmetry can be described as one half of a shape or object being the reflection of the other half. In class, we’ve been using Miras to reflect shapes or to find what the other half of an object will look like exactly. We’ve also been folding paper objects to see if there are any lines of symmetry at all. Symmetry is everywhere: in art, architecture, nature, and all fields of mathematics!

When he was 20, Wilson Alwyn “Snowflake” Bentley photographed his first snowflake by catching the flakes on black velvet before they melted. He became an expert in snowflake photography, capturing over 5000 images.

In the picture below, how many lines of symmetry does the snowflake have?

a)  3     b)    6      c)    12      d)    9

snowflake

December 12

Let it Snow!

What a beautifully white, snowy sight this morning as we were greeted with a heavy snowfall over night. There wasn’t a shortage of things to do at recess as the snow was the type that allowed you to easily build anything your heart desired!

Buses were cancelled and we missed some of our friends who couldn’t make it in to school today.

Have a look at some of our learning over the past few weeks.

Below, students are working together to sort polygons into various categories. We learned that sometimes, shapes can belong to several categories. For instance, a square is also a parallelogram and a quadrilateral.

Playing with Tangrams is a fun way to learn about geometry. Here, students were asked to put together all 7 Tangram pieces to make a square. We haven’t solved it…yet! We’ll try again tomorrow.

Our first Christmas craft was one inspired by a similar one made by my sister in 1987. Ha! I brought it in to show the students and then we made our own. Students were given a template and they chose a colour of paper (white, green, or red). It was decorated and sparkles were added. Mrs. Sullivan glued on a picture of us on the back and dated it “Christmas 2016”. They will hang beautifully on our Christmas tree in our school foyer until the last day of school. We will take them home and hopefully enjoy it for years to come.

In Social Studies, we’ve been learning about Ontario and the types of jobs one might find in the 3 regions of Ontario (Hudson Bay Lowlands, Great Lakes, Canadian Shield). Students were asked to sort the jobs into one of the 3 regions and explain why they placed that particular job there.

 

December 7

Introduction to Right Angles

We’ve launched into our new unit…2D Geometry! Today we explored angles. We focused mostly on right angles which are 90 degree angles that make an L shape. Students went on a scavenger hunt looking for at least 3 things in our classroom that had angles less than 90 degrees, 3 things that were exactly 90 degrees, and 3 things that were greater than 90 degrees.

There were some amazing searching skills as students mentioned certain letters of the alphabet such as “V” had angles less than 90 degrees. Other students looked at scissors and noticed that when you opened them, they made an angle less than 90 degrees.

We learned that we could use our notebook corner to help us measure and compare.

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What are some objects around your house that you could add to your chart?

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November 25

Collecting Data

Lately, each student in our class has been thinking of a question to pose to our classmates–a question we truly want to know the answer to. The question could not be a yes/no question and must have about 4 to 5 possible answers to choose from.

Some examples of the questions students were asking each other included:

  • What’s your favourite season?
  • How many hours of reading do you do each day?
  • What’s your favourite sport?
  • What’s your favourite chocolate bar?
  • How many siblings do you have?
  • How many hours of outdoor activity do you spend?
  • Who’s your favourite soccer player?

Students asked their question to both our class and Mrs. Chapman’s class and kept track in a tally chart. Next we will graph our results in 2 ways.

Some of us were surprised by our answers, while other students were not as surprised with the results. We will share our results with you soon!

November 23

Data Data Everywhere!

Collecting data is a great way to learn about the world around us, to question the world we live in, and help resolve curiosities that we have.

It was timely that researchers visited our classroom today, along with other classrooms, gathering data about students and how we recognize faces. The researchers will share the results in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

We’ve been conducting our own class data, looking at several different topics such as:

  • How long can you stand on your Left foot vs. your Right foot (with eyes closed)
  • How much sugar is in our cereal?
  • What is our favourite type of food that we can order to eat at school (e.g. pizza, Pita Pit)
  • How long do we typically spend in front of a screen on a daily basis?

All of these questions have been answered using various types of graphs such as line plots, bar graphs, pictographs.

Have a look at some of our results!

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This week, students will be surveying their peers to pose their own question they are interested in finding the answer to.  It is important we avoid ‘YES’/’NO’ questions. Students will have to provide 4-5 possible responses for their peers to choose from. We can’t wait to share our results with you!

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October 17

Problem Solving 101

problemsolving2Problem solving in math can be a little tricky, but if you know the steps to problem-solving, you’re already headed towards success.

One of the biggest struggles for students is reading and understanding the problem. What is it asking of me?

There are some basic steps to problem solving:

 1. Understand the problem

Highlighting the key words and question is important in this step. We also learned a strategy to use at the beginning of every problem: WIK & WINK. WIK stands for What I Know. WINK stands for What I Need to Know.   By taking the time to do this, it slows us down and helps us digest the problem, giving us a place to start. Often times, we know more than we think we do!

2. Plan

This is the place where we start to think “Have I solved a problem like this before?” Is this a multi-step problem? What strategy might I use to get me to the answer? (e.g., draw a picture, work backwards, use a number line, make a chart).

3. Solve

This is where you get to show your thinking and apply the plan. It’s a really important idea to number your steps so it’s easy to follow. Finally, finish with a sentence that links back to the question.

4. Check

It’s tempting to want to move on once you finish solving a problem. However, it’s always a good idea to look over your work and ensure you answered the question. Is it reasonable? Does it make sense? Is it clear how I solved it? If I solved it a different way, would I get the same answer?

We worked in groups today to solve a patterning problem. We did a gallery walk afterwards and got the chance to get a close-up look at what other groups did and how they attacked the problem. Class discussion and a chance to re-do the question independently will follow tomorrow.