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Webspiration Wednesday

I learned about Guy Doud in one of my education courses in college.  We listened to a tape of a keynote speech he gave and read his book as part of the course.  Guy Doud was the Teacher of the Year in 1986.  He is an inspiration in education, even today.  I had the privileged of presenting at a conference where Guy was the Keynote speaker.  He is still an incredible voice in education. Unfortunately I can’t offer you a full view of Guy’s speech (I have it on DVD only), but this clip should give you a look into this teacher of the year, and will, perhaps, encourage you to pick up his book: Guy Doud Molder of Dreams. Guy Doud speaks about the focus of education: children.  When we get right down to it, isn’t that what we are all in this for?  He talks about the challenges that children face before they even step foot in a classroom.  He speaks to fostering the heart of children before we try to foster learning.  A child who is being abused, is hungry, is grieving the loss of a parent, has failed at life, really isn’t interested on your perfectly tuned lessons on superlative adjectives.  Whether we like it or not, we are in the heart business.  Teachers are called to be all things to the hurting kids who walk through our door.  Sometimes we play nurse, other times counselor, and sometimes even social worker.  Guy has an incredible rapport with his students and each of them leave his classroom knowing that they are important, that they matter, that they aren’t failures.  Watching Guy renews my spirit and gives me the inspiration to love those students who are hard to love.  To remember to get down on their level.  Many of our students have already been convinced that they are failures.  It is up to us to be their cheerleaders and let them know that they are uniquely gifted for a special purpose.  Our job is not just to teach and grow learners, our job is to assure students that they matter.

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Dance, Factors Dance: Animated Factorization Diagrams #mathchat

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Art, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 15-11-2012

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What it is:  Dance, Factors Dance is a fantastic site to visualize factorization diagrams.  The first “tango” is inspired by the digital clock, with a separate diagram for each of the hours, minutes and seconds.  The Factor Conga is a “promenade of primes, composites, and their constituents, arranged with an aesthetically-tuned variation of Yorgey’s rules, one per second.”  I love the way these math factorization dances help students visualize numbers and Prime numbers.  Brilliant!

How to integrate Dance, Factors Dance into the classroom: Dance, Factor Dance is a stupendous way for students to visualize and think about numbers.  I Love the way that the prime numbers are depicted…so easy to see why it is a prime number!  Ask your students to explore this site and identify the patterns they notice in the dance of numbers.  What happens when a number is prime?  When a number is odd?  Even?

Dance, Factors Dance is a fun way to learn more about numbers, it is also a wonderful inspiration for finding the art in math.  How can students use the site as inspiration to create their own math dance?  Could they use stop motion animation and manipulatives to do something similar?  What patterns in math do they notice?  How can they use color and design to help them better understand math?

This site is a great one to explore as a class, as a center on classroom computers, or individually on student devices.  Students can pause the dance, rewind, and fast forward as they explore.

Tips: Be sure to watch (or fast forward) to the three digit numbers…this is where things get really impressive!  As a side note, I learned something today from a fellow teacher.  When looking at numbers in grid form, you know if a number is prime if it can only make one rectangle.  This understanding would have been helpful in math class! Better late than never :)

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Dance, Factors Dance in your classroom.

Comments (1)

We have already taught this concept, but this is a perfect way to reinforce it! Thanks!

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