My instructional dream revolves around math, because I am currently teaching math to all the three fifth grade classes in my building. My frustrations with our current curriculum are many – lack of coherence between lessons, varied skill levels within each group that make differentiation a daily challenge, and skills taught in isolation that students cannot apply to their lives or learning.

I stated in my earlier post that I would ideally have a computer work station for each student, so that after a brief whole group lesson, students could work with concepts at their own level and pace. Students would use websites that I had pre-selected, some of which would allow me to get reports and others that would allow the students to print evidence of their success. In all cases, students would begin at an appropriate level and work accordingly. As I thought about the concepts we have discussed in this class (specifically the need for students to construct their own learning) I began to create a unit that would allow this well-structured domain to have some flexibility and give students the opportunity to create.

Demonstrate Google Sketch-Up for the students. Allow them time to explore. This will take more than one class session. Each student should go through the tutorial and become familiar with the program.

Creating a structure in Google Sketch-Up takes practice so be prepared for some frustrated students. Allow them to help each other, and have students who catch on easily create tutorials in Power Point that you can share with the class. They can also post helpful hints on the Wiki.

http://www.internet4classrooms.com/skills-5th-mathbuilders.htm

http://www.thatquiz.org/

http://www.amblesideprimary.com//ambleweb/mentalmaths/protractor.html

http://www.oswego.org/ocsd-web/games/bananahunt/bhunt.html

http://www.helpingwithmath.com/by_subject/geometry/geometry.htm

http://jpotter78.googlepages.com/otherresources

I stated in my earlier post that I would ideally have a computer work station for each student, so that after a brief whole group lesson, students could work with concepts at their own level and pace. Students would use websites that I had pre-selected, some of which would allow me to get reports and others that would allow the students to print evidence of their success. In all cases, students would begin at an appropriate level and work accordingly. As I thought about the concepts we have discussed in this class (specifically the need for students to construct their own learning) I began to create a unit that would allow this well-structured domain to have some flexibility and give students the opportunity to create.

__Google Sketch Up Unit____Introduction__: Ideally this unit would be the last one taught during the school year. Because it involves technology and application of several mathematical principles, it would be best taught last as interest will be high and prior knowledge will be established. Thus, prior to introducing this lesson, students should cover concepts of multiplication, division, geometry, area, perimeter, volume and measurement. Teacher should pre-load Google Sketch-Up on all student computers and become familiar with the program. The teacher should create a class Wiki (or blog if you are concerned about privacy/editing) prior to beginning the unit. This unit can be very basic, or expansive, depending on what you want to do with it. (See Day Three)__Overview__: Students will create a structure or structure(s) using Google Sketch-Up. They will then virtually place their structure(s) in a known location on Google Earth. After completing this, they will log onto a class Wiki and describe their project using as many mathematical descriptors as possible. The guiding question is then,**Students will ask each other questions, and respond to each other’s posts. The teacher will provide feedback and ask questions to prompt deeper thinking as well. (For example, “How can knowing about the structures around your building help you be more precise in your description?”) Goal: that students will be able to create, place and describe a structure using (minimum) height, width, area, and perimeter. There are many possibilities that could evolve – allow students the freedom to explore and defend their project.***“How many mathematical concepts can you apply to describe the structure you have created?”*__Day One - Two__: Introduce the project to the students. Use of a wiki for the class will require a contract that students will sign, with stipulations about editing of posts, responsible use, etc. All code of conduct rules apply. Show students the wiki and provide them with written directions how to access and post to it.Demonstrate Google Sketch-Up for the students. Allow them time to explore. This will take more than one class session. Each student should go through the tutorial and become familiar with the program.

__Day Three - Five__: Students should begin working on creating a structure. Encourage them to add as many details as possible, and push their thinking about the structure, and where it will go. Ask questions about what they need to consider about structure placement. (*This could become a cross-curricular project if you want students to consider environmental/cultural impacts of structure placement. Certain cultures have restrictions on building shape and design. So do communities for that matter, so you may require research before they can place their structure. You could also ask them to do a materials estimate for their structure, and create a cost estimate. What if you then threw a budget at them? Building permits? Construction costs?)Creating a structure in Google Sketch-Up takes practice so be prepared for some frustrated students. Allow them to help each other, and have students who catch on easily create tutorials in Power Point that you can share with the class. They can also post helpful hints on the Wiki.

__Day Six – Ten__: Students will place their structure on Google Earth and begin to post their descriptions using mathematical concepts. Have them review past lessons from the school year to prompt their thinking. Ask probing questions. It usually only takes a few probing teacher comments before they begin to query each other in a similar vein. Finally, you can allow the students to present their projects to each other, showing evidence of the math concepts they applied, and describing the process they used to get to their final product.__Evaluation__: As the teacher, you will decide which concepts you want to require students to use in this project. Your rubric can be very basic –such as 6 mathematical elements (ex: height, width, area, perimeter, latitude, and longitude), or expansive to include cross-curricular elements described in day three. Perhaps you would require a basic 6 and make the sky the limit on “extra” elements. This will depend on your time availability. Remember, the goal is not to place so many requirements, but to allow the students to construct their own learning using the basic framework of the lesson.__Helpful Links for students to review concepts__:http://www.internet4classrooms.com/skills-5th-mathbuilders.htm

http://www.thatquiz.org/

http://www.amblesideprimary.com//ambleweb/mentalmaths/protractor.html

http://www.oswego.org/ocsd-web/games/bananahunt/bhunt.html

http://www.helpingwithmath.com/by_subject/geometry/geometry.htm

http://jpotter78.googlepages.com/otherresources