Bulletin Boards Teaching Math Concepts Energize the Halls of Hilltop School
Professor Michelle Best’s Spring 2014 EDU336/EDG565 class, Methods in Teaching Math, embarked on a special project designing bulletin boards in the halls of Hilltop School. The students worked in teams to create a bulletin board that was more than just a cool classroom decoration, but was to actively help students learn a fundamental math concept in a fun way. Professor Best describes the purpose of the project:
The purpose of this assignment was to enable our future educators to begin the practice of creating interactive math activities for their very own classrooms in a unique way, on a bulletin board. I am a very proud of the students in the Methods of Mathematics course. They have proven that their creative and ingenious ways of teaching math "outside of the box" will surely help their future students make learning math concepts fun and textbook information come to life.
Several of the students share with us photos of their bulletin boards and their comments on doing the project:
Havin’ a Ball With…
Created by Sam Foland, Ashley Williams, and Vicky Goehrig
The purpose of this project was to become familiar with creating a math centered interactive bulletin board for a given grade based on the common core math standards. The title of our bulletin board is "Havin' a Ball With Addition and Subtraction." It is designed to teach the concept of finishing or creating addition and subtraction sentences. We presented the bulletin board in class in two parts. First, it was presented as if the class was in first grade and they were learning how to use the board. We explained that they were to move the gumballs from the gumball machine to create their own addition and subtraction sentences. Next, we presented it to the class as if they were teachers and explained to them how we created the board and how it fits with the first grade standards.
The Cookie Challenge
Created by Katelyn Erickson, Darla Lunsford, and Kari Nehlsen
The title of our bulletin board is "The Cookie Challenge". The purpose of this project was to create an interactive bulletin board that would encourage students to learn different math concepts. Each group was assigned a grade and a domain topic to use as the theme for their bulletin board. For this specific bulletin board the math domain was "Measurement and Data". The point of this board was to reinforce the use of conversions and measurements in everyday life. Future Ed students should know that creating interactive bulletin boards are beneficial for students and can be used for lesson plans.
Created by Jessica Hannon, Esther Huynh, and Lindsay Kane
The purpose of this bulletin board is to provide students with a fun and interactive way to practice their math skills in the Number & Operation in Base Ten domain. According to the NYS Math Common Core, students are responsible for place value (rounding and identifying digits), addition (of number up to four digits, of three or more numbers), and multiplication (basic facts and multiples of ten). The board incorporates multiple means of representation (verbal, visual, hands-on) so that students can cultivate a meaningful understanding of these skills. Because March Madness is fast approaching, this board has a basketball theme. The most fun part of the project was building the hoop and creating the review game.
I would encourage future education students to be creative with their boards. This assignment is an opportunity to showcase your creativity. Take your time, be super neat, and enjoy the end result!
Don’t Put Your Future in Jeopardy!
Created by Sarah Yim, Emily Wehrmeyer, and Rebekah Williams
The “Don’t put your future in Jeopardy!” bulletin board teaches students the foundational math skill of algebraic thinking. As students work together to fill out their charts they are exercising the ability to find unknown numbers and operations while dividing, multiplying, adding, and subtracting for their answers. Students in groups provide answers to questions. The group who answers the question correctly is allowed to pick a question at the next level until all the questions are complete and the scores are totaled.
The most fun part of doing the project was brainstorming of a game or idea that will make the interactive bulletin board engaging for the targeted grade because it makes you think of what makes life fun as a kid. We enjoyed incorporating silly pictures of ourselves, imitating the host of Jeopardy.
The most difficult part of making the bulletin board was having to figure out where to place everything, especially the jeopardy board. We learned it is important to know where everything fits before permanently posting the items on the board. Otherwise, there might be a piece or two that won't fit, and everything that was posted will need to be shifted. In that sense thumb tacks are very useful :)
Professor Best explains the benefits of incorporating interactive bulletin boards in the K-8 classroom:
There are many reasons why creating an interactive bulletin board is a great option for the classroom. Interactive bulletin boards can be used to introduce, enrich, or reinforce concepts that have already been taught. They can also help children make connections between different ideas and subjects. Teachers can use interactive bulletin boards to teach math, language arts, geography, and other disciplines. A fundamental part of interactive bulletin boards is the opportunity it provides for kinesthetic and inquiry-based learning (hands-on and discovery learning). Besides gaining conceptual knowledge, when students have to work to solve problems displayed on the boards, the development of small group interaction and conversational skills are formed. In addition to making good use of available wall space and colorful decorations, interactive bulletin board themes can be modified and extended to meet the ever-changing concepts or connected operations such as addition and multiplication. Creating interactive bulletin boards can spark students’ desires to learn and improve their understanding of skills in all subjects because it is intellectually stimulating, creative, and visually appealing.
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