In our world of email overload, sometimes gems come through that make you glad that Google Groups was invented. Amid the usual sea of sub coverage announcements, IB assessment planning, and various field trip information came the announcement of math birdhouses to our staff email list. I’m really glad that our Social and Academic Remediation (SAR) math teacher informed us about the project, because otherwise it would have only been known to a couple of neighboring classrooms. It makes me wish that teachers could have better mechanisms for sharing their successes or developing cross-curricular projects–isolated classrooms don’t do very much for that.
The SAR students are building birdhouses as part of a cross-curricular unit on birds. Through the building process they are learning geometry and expressing themselves creatively. They will be selling the birdhouses, with proceeds going to a student-chosen charity, future projects, and a pizza party for the students. I brought in my own Nancy Drew book for the top of my birdhouse, picked out a paint color, and picked out decorations (a vintage key and gold numbers spelling “314” in honor of my favorite math holiday). The students had already made a lot of birdhouses by last week–looking forward to seeing the next batch!