Day 39: Presenting the Finished Pamphlets


Day 4 of the Voting Project. We attempt a field trip with 3 days’ notice (this is the 3rd active concurrent field trip permission slip that my name is on). Some kiddos don’t quite bring their field trip slips in, so Currriculum Partner takes most of both classes to a nearby thoroughfare (!) to hand out copies of their pamphlets and explain to potential voters why they should vote and I have the remaining kiddos practice in class and then do Ken Ken.

Photo: Script and final product:2016-10-11-16-18-00-2

What do you notice? What do you wonder?

Day 32: The One with the Who Can Vote? Reading Guide


We’re still building schema about what it means to vote in the United States. So many of our kiddos come from countries where voting is mandatory that the idea that people can’t vote or choose not to vote can be tricky. This also helps us push at the idea that, if not all people vote, some groups may be underrepresented.

There’s a video of this group reading and I wish I could post it here (silly free account). Working in the middle, reading aloud, pointing to the words, referencing group roles. Pretty cool.img_20160929_082620What do you notice? What do you wonder?

Day 31: The One With the Election Winners


We talk about authentic problems in mathematics education all the time. Following yesterday’s class vote, we give the kiddos all the data from 8 classes and have them pick the winner several different ways. First, we let them pick their own way of deciding and there are some cool methods, including one group which gives points for people who pick the candidate as their first choice and take away points for people who rank the candidate last.

As it turns out, regardless of which of the methods we use, the same person wins (I need to re-read the article we based this task on, which had several different, more complicated ways to pick a winner).

Picture: The data and an answer sheet2016-09-28-18-21-32-2What do you notice? What do you wonder?

Day 30: “He Doesn’t Even Know the National Anthem”


Our 9/10 mathematics class is divided into 2 years and this is the year where we took the Simplifying and Solving unit and broke it into 3 shorter units.

We move on to another new unit: The Elections Unit. Curriculum Partner and I decide that it would be super cool to take advantange of the US elections and talk about some of the mathematics behind them.

This means we are a) writing a 2-week unit from scratch (after heavily revising another 2-week unit) and b) trying to build schema around elections in the United States.

We have the kiddos write about the leaders in their country. How they get their power. If they support the people. If people like them. Then, they have to ask other kiddos about their country’s leaders and decide who they think the fairest leader is.

Some students from Guatemala claim that all people, including children, can vote in Guatemala (others disagree; as I recall, Ecuador passed a similar law a few years ago, though it is largely symbolic). Students from Yemen say that everyone can vote as well (though Wikipedia says there have been no elections in Yemen for a long time). All the students from [redacted] country in one class claim their leader is an idiot. “He doesn’t even know the national anthem,” spits one.2016-09-26-18-09-28-2