I have a Smart-Board in my classroom. The projected background photo is always the latest-and-greatest adventure of Cello. The students enjoy watching for the picture to change, and always ask about Cello and her great adventures. After one of Cello’s dock diving events, I had set a picture of her jumping off the dock as my background photo. The kids were so intrigued with the idea of Dock Diving, the topic became a part of our daily conversations before and after class…so when it came time to teach the skill of creating and interpreting a line graph, I thought, “Why not incorporate something they are really interested in into the lesson for Line Graphs?”
During the lessons of line graphs, we talked about Cello and her dock diving, and watched videos of her jumping. The kids could not get enough! We created a huge line graph on our bulletin board, and the students learned to graph points as they recorded Cello’s dock diving results from her past 3 events on our big bulletin board line graph. To show the students just how long she was jumping, we used a measuring tape, and measured from one end of the classroom to the length of her longest personal-best jump to date ( 22′ 7″ ). The students were shocked, and then became very curious how far they could jump…hmmm…good idea!
The students made predictions about their jumps, then we took a trip outside to the track next Math period. We measured 40 feet of running space (the same distance Cello has to gather up her speed on the dock) to the sand pit area of the long-jump. Our principal came outside with us to be the official judge of the students’ jumping distances. The students ran as fast as they could for 40 feet, then jumped with all their might into the sand pit. We had so much fun that day! I recorded all the jumps of the students, and took pictures of them jumping, as the principal called out their scores. The next day we took their jumping results and made computer-generated line graphs using Microsoft Excel, displaying the student’s jump distances. They students were able to personalize them with color and background pictures of themselves.
After the computerized line graphs were complete, I held an Awards Ceremony in class. The principal called the names of the students, and shook each student’s hand as he presented them with participation certificates, and pinned them with 1st, 2nd 3rd, and so-on ribbons as well. We had ceremonial music playing in the background, thanks to my friend and co-worker, Grace, who pulled up the Graduation Song on her iPad! The students were so excited about their awards, and were glowing with pride as everyone clapped for each student as they received their ribbon! We took lots of pictures of both the students jumping, as well as the ceremony, and added them to our Line Graph Bulletin Board.
After all was said and done, one of the classes asked if I could bring Cello in to school so they could meet her. I shrugged-off the idea, and told them it was not possible…but they weren’t convinced. They took it upon themselves to go to the principal during their lunch period, and asked for permission…and he was so impressed with the effort they had put into the lesson, that he granted it! They came to class after lunch that day screaming with excitement about the principal saying “YES!” I sent permission slips home to parents, and Cello’s first day at school was planned!
Today, Brian followed me to school with Cello in his car, and when the students arrived to school, they met me at my class to go as a group to to meet Cello! The students got to spend about 20 minutes getting to know Cello, and asking questions. They gave Cello treats, made her do her “tricks,” and gave her lots of hugs and pets. In return, the students got lots of puppy kisses and tail wagging from Cello!
The principal also made a “deal” with the students of my math class… if they meet their homework goal, Cello will be permitted to attend their math class for one period as a “guest-student” as they do their class-work!
Here is Cello this morning waiting by the door with her school bag, ready for her first day of school!
I have so many wonderful pictures of the students engaged in this lesson, the bulletin board, students jumping, student generated line graphs, and the meet-and-greet, but am unable to post them due to the students visibility in the photos. You’ll have to trust me on this one- – it was a fun lesson that students could not get enough of…and so cool to have Cello at school with me!