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Thursday, May 17, 2012

(u02a1) Blog on Digital Media

The next math unit I will teach in Second Grade is Geometry.  On the Discovery Education home page I used the Curriculum Standards Search to locate a Common Core standard for Geometry to begin with.  This is the first standard for Second Grade under the Geometry category and I will use it as my goal for this geometry unit:
Vermont » Common Core State Standards » College- and Career-Readiness Standards and K-12 Mathematics » Grade 2 » 2010
2.G.1 - Recognize and draw shapes having specified attributes, such as a given number of angles or a given number of equal faces. Identify triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, hexagons, and cubes.|01&seldocument=Common%20Core%20State%20Standards&selgrade=2&selcopyright=2010&StandardID=1c4d20ea-7053-11df-8ebf-be719dff4b22&blnSearchStandardsInit=true

When I searched under this standard, two hundred eighty-eight results came up.  I like to begin math units with a video and there are plenty here to choose from.  Right away I noticed there was a  “Math Monsters Geometry” video.  This is a series that I am familiar with and I like it a lot; so do my students.  I like how the monster characters incorporate math skills into solving every day problems that are realistic to the children.  The kids like the animation, the songs and the stories in these videos.  I also like that there is a Teacher’s Resource Guide that is accessible and it gives pre-viewing activities, video pause points with posed questions for the students to answer and discuss during the video and post-viewing activities.  

I viewed the video to see if the standard above is covered in the video content.  The segments of the video include these topics: perspective, triangles, rectangles, triangular prisms, rectangular prisms, cubes, cylinders, octagonal prisms, shapes and sizes of buildings.  They discuss faces as sides so I will need to use both terms interchangeably when discussing the 3-dimensional shapes.  

The video only includes some of the content of the standard but it will be helpful and engaging to the students.  It will be a good way to begin.  I will use other digital resources to cover the concepts of quadrilaterals, hexagons, and pentagons.  

This is the description given about the Math Monsters:Geometry video given on the DE web page:
The Monsters decide to create a model of their town and call it Mini-Monster Land. But in order to make an accurate model they need to take a good look at the different shapes and sizes of neighborhood buildings. At first they go to the roof of their castle to get an overview and wonder why buildings so far away are so tiny. “My thumb is bigger than Aunt Two Lips's Flower Shop,” says Multiplex. The Monsters explore concepts of perspective and then visit the town to see buildings up close. They encounter a triangular prism, cube, cylinder, and octagonal prism and discover information about the characteristics of these shapes. An architect shows his process for drawing and modeling new constructions and explains reasons for using different shapes.

This video will be very engaging as a kick off activity for the unit because it is showing students a purpose for understanding and using geometry concepts.  The characters have a project that they are working on “building a mini-monster town” that will incorporate geometry.  It begins with the concept of perspective, (i.e. objects look smaller when far away and look bigger when close) with is important for students to understand before they begin drawing and working with geometric shapes and designs.   

Another type of media that I found that I will include is  a brain game called “The Whaddya Know Quiz Show: Basic Geometry”.  I have used these games with my class before and they are so fun.  The questions are challenging and they keep the kids focused and engaged.  I would use this quiz show as an informat pre-assesment at the beginning of the unit, probably right after the Math Monsters video, and then use the quiz show game again at the end as an informal  post-assessment to show the students how much information they have learned.  Here is the description of the quiz show game, given on the DE web page:
It's all about basic geometry in this quiz show! Choose one of fifteen comical characters and be a contestant. Play against the computer or with your friends. See if you can get the highest score!.
Copyright: 2005©    |   Publisher:

The quiz show covers these topic:  octagons, faces, angles, squares, sides, polygons, cubes, pyramids and cyinders.  I  can use the quiz show questions to teach and explain these geometric concepts.

A third type of digital media that I found is a song called “Science With Mar: Going on a Shape Hunt” and here is the DE description.  
Mar and students sing and describe different shapes, including circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles.

This is a fun song.  I could envision my students using this song to incorporate into a digital story by creating images to match the words to the song.  They could take pictures with the digital camera, draw pictures or find images online.  This could be a culminating activity.  They could even write more verses to this song to include the terms  hexagon, quadrilateral and cube shapes that are in the Common Core standard.  The shapes that are mentioned in the song are:  square, circle, triangle, rectangle, star, oval, octagon and pentagon.  

All of these digital resources will motivate and interest my students in the topic of geometry.  One reason is that they they incorporate the element of story (the video), visual imagery (video and brain game), audio (video, brain game and song),  creating/building/movement (video and song) and a challenge or goal to accomplish (video, brain game and song).  They tap into multiple intelligences and learning styles which will allow differentiation.  This is why it is so useful to use digital media when teaching. They offer engaging content for all styles of learners. (Publisher). (2005).  Whaddaya Know Quiz Show: Basic Geometry. [Brain Game].  Available from

(2012). Science with Mar: Going on a Shape Hunt. [Song].  Available from

Slim Goodbody (Producer).  (2003). Math Monsters: Geometry. [Full Video].  Available from

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