My Foundation Maths class have now completed Semester 1. We have completed lots of skills exercises, and 3 extended projects. These involved maps, scale drawings, buying a car, geometrical shapes and planning a road trip.
Just as important, we have formed a good working relationship. The students know my rules and expectations; I know their skills, strengths and weaknesses. I have learnt when I need to change the tempo of the lesson. I have found out what things engage my students.
The class has 23 students but a high absence rate. Luckily we have a great teacher aide (Julie) who is a great helper.
So what to start with in Semester 2? I wanted something that would give plenty of practice with measuring lengths, calculating areas, percentage and averages; plus drawing graphs.
So I decided to use newspapers. I wasn’t sure how the kids would take to this, but we had a good discussion first about what papers contained and which parts had relevance and interest to them.
Once I handed papers around, students were engaged with some of the content in the paper (eg. pictures, sport, cars, ads, etc.) It didn’t take long for them to get started measuring pages and calculating areas and percentages.
I showed them in small groups how to use the RandInt() function on their calculator, to choose 5 pages from the paper randomly. I then sat back (with a sigh of relief) and watched rulers being moved and calculator buttons being pressed!
You can download (and modify) a copy of my assignment sheet (Newspapers.doc) by clicking the Scribd icon found in the right hand column of this blog.