Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Dividing Decimals and iMovie on the iPad

I have to say that one of the best parts of my job is collaborating with my colleagues -- I love working together to develop plans and turn good ideas into great learning moments for students.

One such collaborative brainstorming session occurred just a few weeks ago between myself and a 6th grade teacher.  We were meeting to rethink parts of our co-taught math class and were discussing the fact that the next unit is typically the most difficult for students.

The 6th grade teacher mentioned that decimal division and 'swooping' the decimals is often an extremely difficult concept for students to catch on to... and before long,  we had come up with an idea to help make 'swooping decimals' a bit more catchy.  (Reasoning: mnemonic devices and songs are great ways to help English learners - and all students - remember steps in a process!)

The 6th grade teacher and her son wrote the lyrics that night, and the next day, we recorded as many students and staff as we could using iMovie for the iPad.  I edited the complete iMovie on my iPad (so easy to do!) and we shared the final product with students and staff -- it was a hit, and before you knew it, 'SWOOP there it is' became a common phrase throughout the building.

Check out our iMovie and feel free to use and share as a resource for dividing decimals:

When you got a problem with
a decimal divisor
Gotta know how to divide
if you're gonna be wiser.

First multiply divisors by a
power of ten,
If it's got two places, 
gotta swoop it again.

Make divisors whole numbers- 
that's what you gotta do
Don't forget the inside decimal
Cuz you gotta swoop that, too!

Swoop, there it is (4X)

You swoop the inside decimal
the same number of places
As you did with the divisor -
Don't mess up with the spaces!

Raise that decimal up
High above that solid line
Then it's regular division
And you're gonna be fine.

Swoop, there it is (4X)

Divide, Multiply, Subtract, 
Check and Bring Down
Are what you need to do to 
To take that problem down!

And....Swoop, there it is! 
Swoop, there it is!
Swoop there it is!
Swoop there it is!

Lyrics written by Ms. Moran.

(Based on the original song: Whoomp There It Is by Tag Team)


We are already brainstorming our next number....perhaps a science-themed re-make of Psy's Gangnam Style?!  

What are some ways you have used iMovie for the iPad to enhance learning for students?  Leave a comment to share!

Looking forward to many more creative and productive brainstorming sessions with my colleagues in 2013!

1 comment:

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