Saturday, January 25, 2014

Friday Family Math Game

With the weekend upon us, I wanted to share a new math game that I found from another teacher online. The game is simple and helps students practice their math facts. It is called Spiral Math and can be played with up to four players. We are practicing our multiplication, but you could also adapt it for addition and subtraciton.


  • Deck of cards (face cards removed)
  • Dice
  • Coins or objects to mark players


  • Shuffle the cards and set them out face up in a spiral formation.
  • Roll the dice to see who goes first.
  • Put both chips on the first card and the first player rolls the dice. 
  • Then they multiply the number on the dice by the number on the card.
  • If they are correct, they move the same number as the dice. If not, they stay there.
  • Then the next player goes.
  • The first person to get to the end wins.
Give it a try this weekend and let me know how it is!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Visiting Author: Marc Tyler Nobleman

Thanks to our lovely librarian, Ms. Karen Choan, we had a wonderful visiting author from the US. Marc Tyler Nobleman spent 4 days with IST presenting and leading workshops for students. It was an amazing experience and something we were lucky to have.

On Monday, Marc Tyler Nobleman discussed his two biographies about authors who created Superman and Batman. The students were engaged in the topic and were fascinated by the information he presented.

 Here is an image of the first comic ever and below is the high school photo of Milton "Bill" Finger, one of the creators of Batman.
 It turns out that Bill Finger's ashes were spread on the coast of Oregon, my home state. What a coincidence. It was interesting to hear of the connection, especially being in Tanzania.

Later on in the week, Marc had my kids in the library for a workshop on creating comics. He presented about the language of comics and how they are used to convey a story with both the words and pictures. He also gave some pointers on creating comics. It was a great session and afterwards, many of the students chose to create comics of their own.

Thanks so much to Marc and Karen for organizing such a wonderful series of events for IST's Writing Week! We loved it!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Practice Measuring Angles

In geometry we have been learning about angles and how to measure them. The students are pretty knowledgable about finding right angles in the environment, making them with their bodies and identifying the measure of a right angle but are working on learning what acute and obtuse angles are. I found these images on another teacher blog
We call right angles "book angles."

We remember acute angles as small "cute" angles.
 We remember obtuse angles as fat, "obese" angles.

Here is a link to an angle measuring game we played in class. It is fun so give it a try!


Monday, January 20, 2014

What is the Mystery Object??????

Yesterday an unidentified object found its way to IST. It appeared some time in the night on Sunday, January 19th. It was covered up in the morning and was unveiled around 9:00. There were security guards on watch but the kids got to check it out and try to figure out the mystery!

What do you think it is? Leave a comment below.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tricks for Learning Geometry Terms!

In class we have been studying geometry. There are so many geometry words and vocabulary that make it difficult, especially for those students learning English. Many terms and words are not only complicated to understand but difficult to decode as well.

Here are some brain tricks for remembering some geometry words.
  • Horizon- Horses walk on the horizon.
  • Vertical- In skateboarding a ramp that goes up and down is called a vert ramp and vert is for vertical.
  • Diagonal- In tic-tac-toe you can win up, down and diagonal.
  • Intersecting Lines- Just like an intersection, intersecting lines cross.
  • Parallel Likes- The word parallel has parallel lines in it.
The kids are having a good time working with geometry concepts in class. Yesterday we got out the geoboards, tanagrams and pipe cleaners. The students had a choice of materials for the task "discuss what you are making using the geometric terms we are learning in class." Here are some photos.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Geometry and Programing

Today the kids went to the lab and practiced their programing skills with a page called Online Logo. The program teaches the kids about basic programming language and also encourages geometry concepts including direction, angles, degree measures, line segments and turns.

Give it a try and let me know in the comments below how the challenges go. Just a tip, "cu" clears the screen and helps you to start over.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Inspirational People: Richard Turere

One of the teachers on my team found this video for our new unit on inspirational people for the PYP transdisciplinary theme Where We Are in Place and Time. It is a wonderful video about a child thinking of a way to solve a serious problem for his family, village and community around him.

After watching the video, the class made a web of all of the PYP Learner Profile and Attitudes that Richard exemplified and paired up to write and illustrate their thoughts. The kids did a great job on them.