The S.T.E.M and Arts blog by Aurelius Raines II

The S.T.E.M and Arts blog by Aurelius Raines II
"Producers, not Consumers"

Monday, February 14, 2011

February 14, 2011

I am so glad to be sharing the adventures of my Science, Math, Art, and Technology classes. This is a great opportunity for you to know what's going on my classes and the reasoning behind my teaching methods.


We are gearing up for the Science Fair this year. I hope that you are ready. As I mention every year, I look forward to this being a student led project. If you have questions about the Science Fair, I encourage you to look at my entry from last year here Scientific What's-it? . This will help you understand the approach to a science fair project and maybe give you some ideas. 

In class, we are learning about the environment and habitats and how humans interact with and effect nature. It would be nice if you could encourage your child to look up from the video games the next time you are driving through a wooded or rural area and pay attention to the nature around them. Compare this to how they encounter nature in the city.


I am approaching the art of narrativeand illustrative craftsmanship by having my students create their own comic strips. Before you roll your eyes I encourage you watch the two videos below. I have a link to the site in my parent resource center. Comics have some definite advantages, especially for vocabulary building and inference. I would never advocate them as a replacement for conventional reading, but they are certainly a useful tool. 

Using Pixton Comics as a Learning Tool from Knowledge Essentials on Vimeo.


The third grade science class has started Algebra. We took our time with number sense in the first quarter and, while it tried all of our patience, it payed off in an easier understanding of mathematics and an innate understanding of algorithms. Now we are speeding through chapters. We have learned how to transform a sentence into a mathematical expression and how to solve for variables. These are not ideas that I approached until I was in the sixth grade and my third grade students are completing their assignments easily.
This quarter I am integrating Saxon worksheets into the curriculum so that students do not become rusty on previous lessons. If you wish to give your student more practice, I recommend and for customizable practice sheets that your child can do at home. They are both listed in the Parent Resource center at the right of this page.

TuxMath is an arcade style game that has become quite popular with the students. It is one of the best reinforcement tools since Rocket Ship Math.

Thank you for your help an continued support. Please follow this blog for weekly updates or contact me if you have any questions.

-- Mr. Raines

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