We started this school year with a focus on number sense and one of the ways that we did this was using Steve Wyboney’s Splats. Splats are a visual representation of numbers with part of the image covered. Students have to use number sense to find the missing information.
My middle school students made the connection to creating equations with the information provided in a Splat. We started with single step equations and moved to two-step equations. Students used variables to represent the missing quantities and were able to articulate how they solved the equations.
Once the students were confident in their ability to create and solve algebraic equations we decided to make our own Nature Splats. Students went outside to gather natural objects to use as manipulatives. We had a wide variety of objects from small rocks, leaves, acorns and even some students who wanted to use slugs! Students then created Nature Splats that showed a variety of single step and two-step equations. Students were expected to be able to create the visuals, write the corresponding equations and explain the steps necessary to solve for the variables. We created a collaborative Google Slide Document for students to share their slides.
Middle school students were more engaged with this standard when they were able to gather materials to create their own unique Nature Splat. I look forward to exploring more ways to combine Numeracy and Nature at the middle school level.
Kingfield Elementary School, Grades 5-8