Lesson Plan 4: Geometry Digital Blogging Books
Students will use their cell phones to record their observations about geometric shapes in their everyday lives and put them onto a Web log (or "blog," as it's commonly known). They will use their cell phones to capture both images and audio.
- engage in mathematical discourse.
- recognize and identify geometric shapes in their everyday lives.
- measure geometric shapes' area and circumference.
- explore reasons why particular geometric shapes are used in everyday life.
Cell phone (basic or smart) with the capability to take pictures and make a phone call
Computer with Web access (site accessed: tumblr.com)
SET UP AND PREPARE
1. The teacher learns how to set up an account on tumblr.com so that she can show students how to set up their own Tumblr blog.
2. The teacher will create a simple handout to help students set up their own blog on Tumblr.
1. The teacher goes over mobile safety and appropriate use before beginning this lesson.
2. The teacher gives students the handout on how to make a Tumblr blog.
3. In the computer lab (or with a class set of laptops), students create their own individual Tumblr blog.
4. The teacher shows students how to set up the mobile e-mail address and calling number (under Goodies in Tumblr). The e-mail address allows students to send text, video, or pictures from their cell phones to the blog. The calling number allows students to phone in their observations.
5. Students are asked to put both the e-mail address and phone number into their phone contacts.
6. The teacher explains that the purpose of the blog is to connect geometric shapes in everyday life with the geometry they are studying in class.
7. Then, the teacher reviews common geometric shapes and how to measure each shape (area, perimeter).
8. The teacher next asks students to take the next few days to record and post on their Tumblr blog a few mobile pictures or movies of geometric shapes they encounter during activities outside of school. Students should also call in (or text in) and describe the following:
- What the geometric shape is
- How to measure each shape (area, perimeter) and what its actual measurements are
- Why they believe that particular shape was chosen for the real-world object
9. Back in class, the teacher asks students to open their Tumblr blogs and assess the area and perimeter measurements they previously sent.
- Students can continue to record their observations about mathematics in their everyday lives via pictures, video, and audio with their cell phones and post them on their Tumblr Web logs throughout the school year. At the end of the year, students will have a running record of how what they learned in geometry class connected to their everyday lives.
- Students can also use the Tumblr phone number to interview people about their experiences with geometry in their professions. Excellent candidates include construction workers, urban planners, astronomers, and architects.
- In more advanced geometry, the teacher can ask students to focus on 3-D shapes in their everyday lives and measure those shapes.
- The teacher can have students use an online photo editor (such as pixlr.com) that lets them "mark up" the points of measurement on the image itself.
- If students have an iPhone or Blackberry, they can use the Smartphone Apps for Tumblr (under Goodies in Tumblr).
Hints and Tips:
- Students should make sure they have clear images of the shapes, so that they are easier to measure back in the classroom.
By Elizabeth Keren-Kolb