Sunday, December 09, 2012

Deck the Halls (with Dodecahedrons!)

Greetings Dear Friends,

I wanted to share with you what my 6th graders have been up to the last couple of days. I love using dodecahedrons in my classroom. The students never tire of them and they are such an amazing mathematical wonder to look at.
The holidays seem to be a vacuum on my academic attempts. I really need  my students to do some reading, writing, art, and math in a fun holiday format, and not get bored with "writing" and "reading", etc.
I put my mind to work and tweaked a few of my Holiday projects and came up with something that I feel is pretty special.

Here are few picture of my kiddos working on the individual assignments.
The students do many various activities. Here a student is rough-drafting a letter to Santa. The students must use persuasive writing and follow a specific format for the letter. My 6th graders rolled their eyes when I said "Letter to Santa", but found the actual assignment was much more challenging than they expected! TAKE THAT 6th GRADERS! HA! Just kidding. I was glad to see them a little worried about making it work.

Students get to go on a shopping spree and buy gifts for their family and friends. They decide in advance the amount of money they have (reasonable or crazy amount) and then use actual catalogs and flyers to find gifts. The math and reading involved (not to mention all the non-fiction reading skills practiced) are lost on them, but NOT ME! WAHOO!

This is one of my favorite activities. Not only do my students GET to read a classic piece of literature, they then must summarize the story in 10 boxes exactly- USING PICTURES! Everyone thought this would be a piece of cake, but they quickly found that it was much more challenging than they expected. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! (I use A Visit From St. Nicholas by Clement C. Moore, but I made it possible to use ANY poem/story that I want to in the future. There is even a space for the title and author on the circle!

Students get to choose their Top 5 Wishes for Christmas. Some of my students did reasonable items and some took creative license and asked for some pretty outrageous things. I love the minds of 6th graders. They make life exciting everyday, and by exciting, I mean CRAZY! 

Here is the snow globe scene. I have been amazed at the creativity of my students. Of course, they never cease to amaze me. You can also see a finished dodecahedron in this picture. They are pretty amazing when they are done. I am so excited to get our finished up so I can hang them from the ceiling in the hallway and dazzle all the other students in the school.

Update: Here is a picture with some of the dodecahedrons hanging.

What fun activities do YOU do with your students?


If you want to try this activity, you can see a picture of the kit below.

Click HERE if you would like learn more.

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