Saturday, 02 April 2011 17:45

Tip #29: Rock Your Students' World, Part 1: Moving Through The Coordinate Grid

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"Moving Through The Coordinate Grid" is the first of my 4-part "Rock Your Students' World" series of instructional videos.  I filmed these short videos with five of my former students recently one day after school.  Each Teaching Tip over the next four weeks will feature one of the videos.


The video series shares its name with a teacher resource book I've written, and my hope is that Rock Your Students’ World will see the light of day in the not-too-distant future.

The book includes over 100 brain-compatible activities and ideas that incorporate movement, music, and storytelling into the classroom.  In this video series the focus is on the first of these components: movement.  

Specifically, the four activities demonstrated in the videos highlight what I call "concept-embedded movement," in which the activity itself features a type of movement that represents, matches, or embodies the meaning of the content students are expected to learn.  Thus, when students move around and participate in the activity, they are actually bringing the content to life.

In this first video students learn how to understand ordered pairs by walking through a makeshift coordinate grid.

The only real mistake students make when using ordered pairs to locate points on a grid occurs when they count up on the first number and then across on the second.  For example, if the ordered pair is (3,6), students would go up three spots and then across six, instead of the other way around.

In this activity students simply practice the proper “across, then up” sequence by retrieving objects that we place at various spots on a makeshift grid.  Starting at point (0,0) on a grid, kids walk across to the first number of a given ordered pair, stop on that number, turn left, and walk up to the second part of the ordered pair to get to the object in question.  

To reinforce further the proper order of the points, you and your students can use two simple arm movements.  Using the ordered pair (5, 1) as an example, you can simultaneously chant “5 across” as you hold one arm parallel to the ground at chest level and chant “1 up” as you hold that arm perpendicular to the ground.

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New Teaching Tips appear every Sunday of the school year.