Software
Pixie Icon

Pixie

Software for student publishing and creativity.

Wixie Icon

Wixie

Online student publishing and creativity platform.

Frames Icon

Frames

Create animations, digital stories, and stop-motion.

Share Icon

Create web sites, epubs, and presentations.

Professional Learning
Services
Pixie Icon

Pixie

Software for student publishing and creativity.

Wixie Icon

Wixie

Online student publishing and creativity platform.

Frames Icon

Frames

Create animations, digital stories, and stop-motion.

Share Icon

Share

Create web sites, epubs, and presentations.

Tech4Learning Blog
Tech4Learning Blog
Tech4Learning Blog
Tech4Learning Blog

Scott Loomis

Recent Posts

Wixie and the Real World of Math: Swimming Pool Volume

Posted by Scott Loomis on Apr 23, 2020 10:26:45 AM

With the introduction of volume, fifth-grade students learn to measure three-dimensional space. Recognizing volume and understanding it as a measurement of a space involving cubic units is an important skill. Wixie includes a Swimming Pool Volume template to provide opportunities for a guess-and-check calculation of volume in a real world context.

Editor's Note: This blog is part of a series of posts from former math specialist Scott Loomis on the real world math templates he has created for Wixie and how you can use and modify them for your own awesome performance tasks. You can read the backstory on his experience and expertise below. 

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Topics: Wixie, math, real world of math

Wixie and the Real World of Math: Mini Golf Measurements

Posted by Scott Loomis on Apr 13, 2020 10:49:23 AM

One could easily argue that there is no more authentic math calculation than determining the area and perimeter. There are countless examples of 'real world' applications including:

  • the necessity to calculate the perimeter of a room before deciding on the amount of carpet or crown molding you need to buy, or 
  • calculating the perimeter of your yard to better estimate the amount of grass seed or fertilizer required.

One of my all time favorite examples involves a mini golf course design. I remember fondly spreading out pieces of carpet and wooden two-by-fours on the floor of my fifth-grade classroom. My students then completed a performance assessment in which they had to calculate the area and perimeters of a handful of given hole designs, so they could order the correct amount of material. Finally, they could create their own design and have a friend attempt the calculations. You can use Mini Golf Measurements activity in Wixie to do the same activity.

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Topics: Wixie, math, real world of math

Real World of Math: Show Favorite Sports with a Bar Graph

Posted by Scott Loomis on Feb 10, 2020 8:14:44 AM

Representing and interpreting data is a common theme in elementary mathematics instruction. Unfortunately, most activities seem to "spoon feed" the representation, typically a bar or line graph, to students with the x- and y-axis, labels and scale all completed and ready to go. What happened to the good old days when students were handed a piece of graph paper and had to create the representation from scratch? I can appreciate the need for students to efficiently demonstrate their knowledge, but I feel strongly that students need to create graphs 'from scratch' like we used to (as recorded in black and white movies!) when we were children.

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Topics: Wixie, real world of math

Wixie and the Real World of Math: On Top of Denali

Posted by Scott Loomis on Aug 26, 2019 8:42:43 AM

Solving single-step or multistep practical mathematical problems is a theme throughout the Common Core Standards and Virginia's Standards of Learning. These practical problems require computation skills that evolve as the students progress from kindergarten to high school. Although this authentic task can be utilized by students in multiple grades, for fourth graders, the problems typically involve adding, subtracting, and multiplication as well as division with whole numbers.

The On Top of Denali template involves a problem solving strategy that utilizes subtraction as a potential part of a Computation unit taught at the start of the school year. Students are asked to compare the elevation of Denali to the highest points of other states including Oregon, Arkansas, and Virginia to name a few.

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Topics: Wixie, authentic task, real world of math

Wixie and the Real World of Math: The Bead Factory

Posted by Scott Loomis on Feb 6, 2019 9:28:49 AM

Seventh-grade students are asked to "use properties of operations to generate equivalent expressions." While they may be able to solve these equations, they don't often make the connection between abstract algebra formulas and the world outside the classroom.

Use this 13-page Wixie template to provide a real-world context for using algebraic equations as students are given parameters and asked to price jewelry based on the algebraic expression they write.

Editor's Note: This blog is the sixth in a series of posts from former math specialist Scott Loomis. In these posts, he shares more about the real world math templates he has created for Wixie and outlines how you can use and modify them for your own awesome performance tasks. You can read the backstory on his experience and expertise below.

Read More

Topics: Wixie, authentic task, real world of math

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