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Going "Diggie" with Math Word Problems

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Keywords: Math, Digital Cameras, Digital Word Problems, Word Problems
Subject(s): Algebra, Calculus, Writing, Technology, Photography, English/Language Arts, Geometry, Math, Trigonometry
Grades 5 through 12
School: Carolyn Park Middle School, Slidell, LA
Planned By: Kristen Hernandez
Original Author: Kristen Hernandez, Slidell
The student will be able to:
Recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics.
Create and use representations to organize, record, and communicate mathematical ideas.
Construct mathematical word problems using a digital camera.
Use technology as a means of creating word problems.
Work cooperatively in a group setting.

Launch/Engaging Focus:
The teacher will go over the lesson objectives with the students.
The teacher will ask the students how data applies to their everyday lives.
The teacher will ask the students to apply their knowledge of their math vocabulary as they work through the lesson activity.
The teacher will bring the students focus to the “Word Wave” Wall.

The teacher will review over the proper use of the digital camera with the students.
The teacher will explain to the students that they will be working in their cooperative learning groups for the project. The students will take a min-field trip around the school and take pictures of interesting happenings going on inside and outside of the school. These pictures will be used to create Math word problems.
The teacher will address any questions or concerns.

Independent Practice/Cooperative Grouping
The students will begin their mini-field trip with the digital camera in hand. Each group member must take 3 pictures of different happenings. This will allow them to choose from the two they like the best.

When the mini-field trip is over, the students will return back to the classroom to begin their digital word problems.
Each student in the group will pick out their two favorite pictures.

The students will then create creative and interesting word problems that will address key concepts taught within the 4th grade curriculum. The 6th graders will be creating word problems that will be donated to the 4th grade teachers in order to help increase LEAP scores.

Each group will have the option of creating their digital word problems on construction paper with picture print out therefore making a book, a PowerPoint slideshow, or by making a Promethean Board flipchart.

Groups will create one slide show or flipchart that the 4th grade teachers can use as Daily Bell Ringers or Problem of the Day. The option of making a book is also available. This would be a great asset to the teacher’s library and technology resources.

The students will have access to the Grade Level Expectations for the 4th grade curriculum in order to know what concepts are being taught.

The students will be given two days to work on their books. The students will be given the opportunity to bring their finished products to the 4th grade teachers and, if given permission, show the 4th graders their problems and help them work through them, similar to whole group study or peer tutoring. These problems can also be released to the LEAP tutors to use with their students.

The teacher will instruct one person from each group to get the “Wrap Up” cube. The students will take turns rolling the cube. Each student will read out the question and give the answer to their group. Each group member should praise each person as they finish. The wrap up cube asks the students about what they learned, how can they apply it to real life, what else would they like to learn, and how could they teach this lesson to someone else.
The teacher will take any questions or concerns about today’s lesson at this time.

The objectives for this lesson should be measured informally during the activities by monitoring, participation, and through discussion. The formal assessment will be the “Digital Word Problems.” The final assessment will be that the students will journal through blogging on their experience with the lesson-the pros and cons of what they did and accomplished. This is given to them for homework on the second day or they begin if they finish early on the second day. If a child does not have access to the internet they may come in early the next morning and use a school computer.

Digital Camera
ActivStudio software-Flipchart
Construction Paper
Blog Site
Wrap Up Cubes

Accommodations for Individual Differences:
The Tactile, Visual, Kinesthetic, and Auditory learner will be targeted within this lesson through discussion, movement, creating, technology, and blogging.

Classroom Management Concerns
Students who I feel will have a hard time during this activity due to behavior issues, will be given extra reinforcement for following the expectations of the teacher. Those lower level students will be given more assistance. All students will receive praise from the teacher.

Instead of making word problems, the students could make story books with the pictures they have taken. You might want to increase the number of pictures they are to take. This will take a bit longer than the word problems.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
The blogging is an integration with ELA.
Have the students extend the lesson by going into the classroom and working one on one with the students. The groups who created the PowerPoint slides and/or flipcharts can preview their technology with the teacher and their class. They may also present their books if they took that route.
Materials: Point and Shoot
Other Items: 1 Mobile Digital Camera Lab, $ 3648.95 each, total of $3648.95