My spring semester EASE coaching site is 53K@296 with Hailey Robinson, Cristina Sunseri, and Rachel Owens – wonderful, imaginative EASE level II teachers.
Cristina and Rachel collaborate on their curriculum, tossing ideas back and forth at the Common Planning Meeting to engage students through EASE activities. Measuring is the academic focus and the stuffed stockings art project is the EASE activity chosen to set the teaching and learning stage. Although the teachers are at level II we begin the work with level I students, establishing the skills and rules of the game before moving to curriculum. (Hailey is doing the same thing – students develop partnering skills with masking tape.)
Explore: what does the stocking feel like?
Predict: how many newspaper balls will it take to fill the stocking?
Rachel’s class is all boys. And the fact that these are things that girls usually wear is not missed. They get a big laugh out of it making the session really playful. After playing with the stuffed stockings (which they do), making funny hats, puppets, head bands and balls to toss, comes the question: could we use the stockings to measure? Yes! Let’s measure the table…and in Cristina’s class Let’s play “how far can we jump?”
Students investigate different ways of measuring: clock, scale, ruler, tape measure – time, weight, inches – and conclude that after stuffed stockings, a measuring tape would be handy to use for measuring.
So, we begin in Cristina’s class: a runway of parallel lines of tape from an earlier EASE activity becomes the jump space. Students take their mark, toes on the line, and prepare to jump. Another student measures the distance jumped with the stuffed stockings and yet another learns how to use the smart board noting the results on a graph.
Who jumped farthest?
How much farther did one student jump than another?
If one student jumped three stuffed stockings and another jumped three and a half, who jumped farther?
In Rachel’s class students measure the table first with stuffed stockings, then with a measuring tape. After that we take a field trip to the hallway to measure the bulletin board, the heating vent and the wall tiles: real world work.
The EASE principle – having fun with your work – applies all the way around! After inspiring the atmosphere the teachers skillfully guide the process, making the transition from game to curriculum.
– Shellie Bransford