I had the good fortune to have David Reece, a grade 7 teacher from one of our feeder schools participate in Whiplash! yesterday. You can hear me introduce him to the group in the introductory audio (4 min, Dave's intro is a little more than 2 minutes in) to Whiplash! Dave blogs with all four of his grade 7 math classes and they're producing some really wonderful work. Check out his class blogs: 7-42, 7-43, 7-44, 7-72.
Dave recently got his hands on a smart board and asked me if I knew of any online resources he could take advantage of. I've never used a smart board so I don't, but if you do please let me know by leaving a comment or send me an email I can pass on to Dave.
Chris Harbeck works in the same school as Dave. He teaches four grade 8 classes; 8-16, 8-17, 8-41, 8-73. He also started an enrichment blog called Taking Math to the Next Level. The intro to every post on the site reads:
Math is more than just multiplying, using fractions and using a calculator. It is using your number sense in as many ways as possible. This blog will make you think, then solve your math problems. It will be a great place for you to get ready for your exam in June. Lets work together making math meaningful and fun.
Chris began by modeling what a "Growing Post" should look like, then his kids started producing some incredible work. The way he has woven the entire family's involvement into this project is one of it's most exciting features for me. Just think about it. Each of these kids is sharing their learning with their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and grandparents in order to get a bonus mark. The family offers positive feedback and encouragement and the kids get to show off their learning. Since this is part of the assignment, the kids can brag about their work without feeling embarrassed about doing so. This is idea is so brilliant on so many levels I can't begin to articulate them all. What a way to celebrate learning, involve the family, boost a kid's self-confidence, develop an authentic audience for the students published work, give a kid a chance to show what they know, have a kid keep a record of everything they're learning so they can revisit it whenever they need to, get them reflect on their learning, ..... can you tell I'm excited by this?
Mr. H, you're teaching many more people than just your very lucky group of grade 8 students! (Do they know how fortunate they are?)
If you haven't yet committed a random act of kindness today, head over to Dave and Chris' blogs and leave them and their kids a comment or two. (You'll find the links to the student's work in the sidebars of their blogs or the class numbers above.)