Monday, May 20, 2013

Learning and Collaborating

This post was originally posted on my classroom blog for parents. I thought it might be of interest to readers of this blog, too. 

On Friday one of our math activities was to create a graph of the number of letters in our first names. I decided to use this as an opportunity to reinforce my lesson that we are all always learning and that we can all figure things out. To do this, I decided to have us create the graph using the graphing feature of Haiku Deck. I told the crew that I did not know how to do this yet but that together we would figure it out. We began by gathering our data (number of letters in our first names) and then set out to figure out how to create a graph in Haiku Deck. We had to experiment with several of the buttons or features to figure out how they work. We had to start over at one point when we decided that our graph would work better with a different orientation. Lots of math was involved in our discussion because we had to find the minimum and maximum values of our data as well as how big the intervals would be. But we did figure it out. The only thing we couldn't do was add labels to each axis of our graph. (I think this is because this is presentation software and they try to limit the amount of text on a slide.)

At this point someone in the crew suggested that we put our graph picture on the camera roll of the iPad and then import it into ShowMe and add the labels there. This was a great idea but I showed them that Haiku Deck didn't have import to camera roll as an option. They all just looked at me wondering why I couldn't figure this out. They said again, just put it in the camera roll and I still didn't understand what they meant. Finally someone remembered that the language they were looking for was to take a screen shot. Brilliant. They were absolutely correct and were connecting our prior learning about taking screen shots to this lesson. We took a screen shot and it was instantly added to our camera roll. (This is when we lost our internet access so I went in later and added the labels to our graph. I used Skitch - which they know how to use, too - instead of ShowMe to add the labels because I wanted to show them how professional it can look with the labels typed instead of handwritten.) Below are pictures of the two graphs - with and without labels.

The best part of this whole lesson is that they saw that I was still learning and that we all worked together to figure out how to create the graph we wanted. I want them to become life-long learners who are willing to jump in and try to figure things out. This lesson was a great example of using all of our 4Cs - creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication. These are the lessons that make my day.

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