Overview: This lesson uses movement and coordination to teach stem and leaf plots in math.
I don’t know if you’ve seen these before, but SpeedStacks stacking cups are a fantastic product. They have lots of uses for all kinds of content areas, from PE to math and everywhere in between. Take a look at their website for some great ideas and pricing information.
I have seen students who struggle with motivation all year long come alive when they use these. There is a nice, friendly competitiveness both internally and externally that happens when you use these. Plus, they are a great manipulative to use with your kinesthetic and special needs learners because of the easy grips and hand-eye coordination that is required. I’ve used these in my music classroom as a way to create and practice rhythms, and as a way to demonstrate note values. At the same time, I’ve seen them used in the classroom as a way to inspire new writing pieces. They really have so much value!
Today’s lesson incorporates these speedstacks with math by using stem and leaf plots and line graphs. Designed for middle school students, this is a great way to make math fun while at the same time truly assessing meaningful learning. If you don’t have speedstacks cups, you can always use regular paper cups, though they are bit more difficult to control. Have a great time with this lesson – you’ll have as much fun as your students!
Susan Riley is the founder and President of EducationCloset.com. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.