In class on Friday we watched the show Cyberchase. I thought it was funny that we watched this show, because it brought me back to the 4th grade when my friend and I would watch Cyberchase and Arthur after school. So, this week I thought it would be fun to relive my childhood some more and watch another episode of Cyberchase since the main focus of the show is math. I also decided to play some online Cyberchase games located on the PBS Kids website! 
Since we started working on finding an area in class, I decided to watch the Cyberchase episode, "Sensible Flats". This episode link was located on our math course page under "Extra Resources" and led me to the Cyberchase page on the PBS Kids website. 

In the episode "Sensible Flats" the kids in the show had to help prove the villain character, Hacker, innocent. In the town the judge, Judge Trudy, claimed that everyone in the town had to have the same area of land as everyone else which was 15 square feet. Judge Trudy's land was in the shape of a rectangle so it was easy to tell what the area was, since to find the area of a rectangle you just have to multiply length by width, so in this instance, 5x3=15 square feet. 

Hacker's land was shaped differently, but still ended up having an area of 15 square feet. In the episode the kids proved that Hacker's shape had an area of 15 square feet by putting the shape on a graph/grid. This then demonstrated that his shape was made of squares and triangles. They showed that when you rearranged the squares and triangles, you end up with the same shape and hence the same area of 15 square feet. 

Here's a link to a video clip from the episode "Sensible Flats" showing how to find the area of a shape that is not a rectangle:


This Cyberchase episode was great and it explained in a kid friendly way how to find the area of an odd shape that is not a rectangle. 

On the Cyberchase website there are also plenty of games and activities to play to enhance math skills! Here are some links to the games & activities. 
Reflection: From this activity I realized some children's television really is educational and can help enhance children's understanding and learning of different subjects. I believe that television shows make learning fun and interesting for a child.This activity also made me realize how many different educational television shows there are such as, Sesame Street, Liberty's Kid, Arthur, and even Dora the Explorer.  In my classroom I will definitely, occasionally use television for my lessons. 

Feedback: How much educational television would you allow your students to watch? Is there a such thing as too much educational television? 

All of my pictures are from a Google Image search 
10/6/2013 11:48:25 pm

When it works well with your objectives, it makes sense to use it. As a time filler, I'm less interested. The totally rad episode's best point to me is the strong distinction between area and perimeter. Following up with an activity like the Cyberchase for Real, but with the students, will also help maximize value. The dream is to get parents guiding their students into this stuff instead of Disney or Nick.

Good post, clicked on all 5Cs: +


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