When I last posted about Hexagonal Learning, I mentioned an article I had seen about using Visual Hexagons, which I was eager to try. So, as my 4th grade students are beginning a unit on mathematical masterpieces, I thought I would use Visual Hexagons to introduce the topic.
Not my best decision ever.
Here’s what I did wrong:
- I put together a bunch of images that most of the students could not identify. This made it difficult for them to figure out how they were connected.
- I forgot to put a guiding question on the paper.
- Some of the connections were a bit too abstract. (I had a picture of a yellow spiral, which I was hoping they would see as a “Golden Spiral,” and that they would relate that to spirals in nature such as the ones on the pinecone picture I included.)
- Some of the pictures were unrecognizable – such as the aforementioned pinecone which appeared to most of the students to be an orderly collection of rocks or fish scales.
Did I do anything right? It depends on what you define as “right.” And what you define as me doing…
- I used Canva to make my Visual Hexagons, which made it very simple to pull pictures into the hexagon-shaped image holders.
- I accidentally printed to the color printer. But that looked better anyway. So I printed out 4 more.
- Once the activity got started, I noticed the students were struggling, so I quickly pulled up a backup plan that is a video on Discovery Streaming about nature, math, and beauty.
- I was trying to decide at what point I should show the video when two men from the district came into the room to replace my wifi – which meant the students couldn’t research on their iPads anymore.
- I showed the video (effectively damming the stream of students who were now lining up to ask to go to the restroom – a clear sign of a lesson gone awry), which explained nearly all of the pictures and how they related.
As regular readers may note, I generally share things that have worked well in my classroom on this blog, so you can try using those activities as well. However, I fear that may have given some of you a distorted version of what goes on when I teach. I have plenty of epic fails. I like to share the failures that have some sort of potential as long as you avoid all of the pitfalls I seem to have discovered.
Basically, if you learned from reading this that you should always have a backup plan even when you are really excited about a lesson that you are positive will be engaging, I figure my work is done.
But you knew that already, right?