Lesley Nord uses Shape Collage in the classroom to better engage his students, teach about math, get his students to think critically, and encourage them to write and blog.
I teach and am always looking for new ways to integrate technology into education to engage my students and to help prepare them by modeling that we all need to keep up with changes. Although my primary field is collaborative math, I have been working to engage teachers and students with technology.
I found Shape Collage and used it in a variety of ways to model for students. I began a website about our mini-farm to model the simplicity for teachers. As part of this, I wanted to illustrate the blog in a variety of ways. Two of the items I created were collages. One utilized the paw print to capture pictures of my favorite things (my dogs and my horses). When sharing with students/teachers I showed them how each picture related to my writing in the blog. I asked students if they would be encouraged to write if they used their own photos and/or used a collage to begin the writing process. Their positive response was overwhelming.
My favorite though is the “Sinkhole” (pictured above). I used this to tell the story of math in our home. Without warning, a hole appeared on our property. It was about 2 feet in diameter. Because it was so unusual, experts came to study it. I created a circle using those pictures. I have used this information to introduce geometry concepts and real world application to problem solving.
After viewing the pictures, we did a variety of exercises and then the students were given the task of determining how best to fill the sinkhole, how long it would take them to fill using their materials and the cost. They were given the guidelines from the experts but had to create drawings, use math and find costs of materials and justify their results. Not only did the students become engaged with the math, they were introduced to Shape Collage and asked to see more examples.
I did a couple and since then students have shown me their own products. Not only did they use critical thinking skills in my activity, but have used similar skills to create and refine their collages and have begun to write and blog. It reminded me of an old commercial for some shampoo…and they told two friends and so on and so on. The students and some teachers were introduced not only to technology and critical thinking skills, but saw their own uses for it.
Lesley, we love all the different ways that you’re using Shape Collage as an educational tool! Gold Star! A+!
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