I know I say “this is my favorite unit to teach” all the time but I really do love this unit! Coordinate grids are so fun to teach and can be used in a variety of activities and lessons. In fifth grade students are only responsible for learning about the first quadrant in the coordinate grid system, but in sixth grade students learn about all four quadrants. As a fifth grade teacher, I stick to the standard and only teach the first quadrant, but I also show the students the full grid so that they are not surprised when they get to sixth grade to learn about the other three quadrants. If you would like to access my blog posts about teaching the first quadrant to fifth graders, click here.
As you know, I love interactive journals so our first day we reviewed what we had learned from fifth grade and then we moved onto sixth grade. After I modeled the new material, we used this PDF as an introduction to the four quadrants. Students used this handout, to label the quadrants and practiced plotting points. You can access the handout here for FREE!
One of the key components to showing mastery on this TEK, is understanding movement from one plot to another plot. I developed a game that is a fun spin on moving around the coordinate grid. It is called Plots Vs. Zombies! Students spin the spinner to determine a starting point. Once the student knows the starting point, they take turns drawing cards to determine how they will move on the coordinate grid. While moving, if you pass through a zombie, you collect points by destroying the zombie you pass through. The kids had so much fun with this game! You can access it here, Plots vs. Zombies on my TpT store.
There are a ton of games online, that allow students the chance to practice plotting coordinates. I love to use TES Teach (formally known as Blendspace) as a way to organize and assign websites and online games, so that they are super easy for your students to visit. If you have ever tried to have students type in a URL to visit, you will know, that students have a TOUGH time correctly typing in a URL. They leave out a letter or two or they forget a special character or it is so long that they lose their place while typing. Using TES Teach, keeps it all nice and neat, and allows students to click and go! Here is the online agenda that I made.
The best thing about TES Teach is that it is FREE!!! Another cool thing about this website is that you can access other teacher’s assignments! Why re-invent the wheel?!
I love to integrate technology and I have two very cool digital assignments! Students completed the Google Project in pairs. This is anawesome Google project that is super fun and involves problem solving and rigorous test prep.
The other fun assignment was a digital breakout!! Castaway is a digital breakout that is modified for fifth or ready for sixth. You are a shipwrecked on an island and you will have to solve a series of 5 puzzles to successfully get off the island. While the students were trying to breakout, I played beach sound effects that I found on You Tube.
The last assignment we completed was a STEM extension project incorporating coordinates with paper circuits! This was an absolute blast for the kids! They got to be creative, practice coordinates and make circuits that actually work to light up their coordinate grids! Check out some of their work below.
I wrote detailed instructions and supplied a detailed list of what you need to buy in order to complete this in your class. I spent $25 dollars to use this activity with 70 students, which is pretty awesome! I had a ton of supplies left over which can be used again next year. This project can be used for fifth grade and sixth grade (I included project papers for the first quadrant and all four quadrants) You can access the Electric Grid STEM project here!
If you are on Instagram, I would love to see my activities and lessons in your classroom! Follow me @themathchick5 and tag me in your posts! #mathisfun
Until next time!
Peace, Love and Math