• Caren Connelly

Jumping Jacks, Graphs and More

Learning how to plot coordinates on a graph isn't necessarily the most exciting activity for 5th graders. But what if a math lesson involves physical activity, coding and miniature robots? Things might get interesting.


That was the plan Lincoln Elementary School teacher Michelle Blankenship brought to WFEE. She proposed mixing up the teaching of Everyday Math. Students would learn to create coordinate grids by first collecting data on their own heart rates after a round of jumping jacks.


They would use that information to write a computer program sending Ozobots, small robots, skittering over graph paper, making the data come alive. 

Students are both developing coding skills and demonstrating that they understand how to gather and present data. An unexpected benefit? Some students who are hard to engage in classroom activities are suddenly involved.


"They are teaching each other, taking ownership of the lesson."

Michelle Blakenship, 5th Grade Teacher


Future projects for students include planning an athletic center, programming the Ozobots to convert measurement units to scale. Learning still starts with pencil and paper but that is only the beginning.

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