I traveled with Chastain Middle School’s Science Quiz Bowl Team to Columbus, Mississippi, for a competition. My youngest son was the captain of the Chastain “A” team.
Our family has had at least one child in this competition for the last four years. I was proud of both of Chastain’s teams. The “A” team was undefeated through 8 rounds, and lost to Tupelo in the semi-finals. One of the big wins was against cross-town rival St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. The “B” team, with three of the four members complete novices, didn’t win any matches, but they came awfully close, and we anticipate good things for them next year.
I’ve been so busy with students I haven’t had much time to blog. We are in the final stage of our bookmaking, and the books look great. The third graders did a terrific job!
Students created stories in the broad categories of patterns and measurement. We had six groups of students. Four groups had four students each, and two groups had three students each. The groups worked together to brainstorm, write, storyboard, and take photographs.
After an initial visit, during which I talked about my Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature (read about it here), Beth West worked with the students to talk about what all math stories need. Together, she and the students developed a checklist. The group writing was a challenging part of this project. In order to facilitate the process, Beth and I worked with each group for about an hour — to help integrate disparate drafts and press for coherence in the math methods being deployed.
We spent the next full school day, working individually with groups to storyboard the photographs and then take them.
After the photographs were taken, we asked the groups to self-select for four tasks: chartist (to create any chart needed for an illustration on good paper), folder (to make the instant book out of the good paper), assembler (to order, trim, and glue photographs into the book), and scribe (to write the final text into the book). So, on our final two work days, we worked with groups according to their tasks. All six folders made their books at the same time. All the chartists made charts at the same time, etc.
This final picture is of the classroom teacher, Mrs. Lieb. She has been very patient with Beth and me as we invaded her classroom. Here she is enjoying reading one of the books for the first time. Thank you, Mrs. Lieb.
Patty Crosby took all but two of the photographs in this post. She also had the task of capturing the whole project on video. Thank you, Mom!
Thank you, also, Beth.
I learned a long time ago that anytime I planned to do a project with students, I’d better try it first myself.
So, today, I’m sharing my attempt at a math story illustrated with digital photographs. This is my current project with third grade students at Davis Elementary School. (Read this previous post for background.) Arguably, I’ve done this before. My Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature is a model text for this lesson.
My co-teacher, Beth West, and I aren’t asking the groups of third graders to write and illustrate a 32-page picture book, though. We’re asking them to write and illustrate an 8-page math story problem. The broad topics we asked them to write on were: patterns and measurement.
Beth created two useful documents to help students with this project: a graphic organizer and a checklist. I wrote a story titled Toby Knits a Blanket. In it, Toby wants to use a growing pattern to make a red, white, and blue baby blanket. The seeds for his growing pattern are 4 and 1.
I spent about an hour last week meeting with one of the third grade groups. Beth met with another group at the same time and their classroom teacher, Mrs. Lieb, had charge of the rest of the class. The group I worked with is writing a story about trying to find a library book in a library where the cataloging has gone crazy, but in a patterned kind of way. Beth’s group was writing about predicting which student might win the most classroom incentive prizes over a designated time period — based on a pattern established in the first few days of the competition.
I go back tomorrow to work with a third group. We have six groups in all, and we are eager to get started on the photography part of the project.
I dug these lego figures out of my boys’ containers so I could use them as models for my other story — involving measurement. These lego folks represent a classroom of students who are going to eat pudding at a party.
As my regular followers know, I am in the middle of a photography project with fourth graders at Davis Elementary School. With educators from the Mississippi Museum of Art and teachers at Davis, I am helping the students make field guides of the museum’s Art Garden.
I thought I’d share some statistics from our project.
Photographs Taken By Students: 1,493.
Field Guides: 10.
Photographs Selected for Field Guides: 46.
Murrah High School Quiz Bowl Team
I spent Friday evening and most of Saturday with Murrah’s Quiz Bowl team. The team participated in a tournament at the University of Mississippi; three of us parents drove. Both teams competed with great aplomb — the ‘B’ team, consisting of 5 freshmen and 1 junior, lost two before lunch. The ‘A’ team, three juniors and three sophomores, didn’t lose the second time until the finals of the B bracket. I was proud of them. (One fun fact about these quiz bowlers is that nine of the 12 are also members of the varsity soccer team.) Here are some photos.
Fourth grade students at Davis Elementary spent part of their morning completing watercolor paintings inspired by their photographs from the Mississippi Museum of Art’s Art Garden. (You can see more about earlier stages of this project here.) Today’s lessons were taught by Carol Cox Peaster with help from Elizabeth Williams and Ivy Alley. I stopped by to take some photographs and help where I could. I was struck by what the students did to interpret their photographic images in the style of Walter Anderson.
I’ll show you a step-by-step by one of the students.
Finishing the color.
Peaster used several books to showcase Walter Anderson’s style, including The Secret World of Walter Anderson by Hester Bass.
Here are some other examples of student work: