A Sedalia Middle School classroom became a home buyer’s workshop recently as math teacher Roxy Himes transformed her room into a real estate office.

The focus of the activity was for fifth grade students to show they can multiply up to a four-digit number by a two-digit number. Himes and her students worked on those concepts for a few days leading up to the real estate activity. She found the lesson idea online and thought for her first room transformation of the year it would align well with the math standard she was teaching.

“I thought it would bring their work to life,” Himes said. “These kids need to understand what they are doing and how it applies to real life and this really brought that to their attention.”

Students moved to different “addresses” within the room that presented different multiplication challenges. When they completed their work at an address, they would check in with Himes so she could review their answers. If a student didn’t arrive at the right answer, Himes would provide a hint and send them back to work.

“It was fun. I can say they were all engaged, they were all working hard and persevering when they were trying to solve the problems. That is what we want to see, that they are pushing themselves and they are not giving up,” she said.

Mia Ross was one of the first students to complete the work during her class period. 

“I liked how fun it was,” Mia said. “We usually don’t get to do this kind of stuff. I like that (Himes) got the room all designed … with the theme.”

After Himes endorsed Mia’s work, the teacher encouraged the student to help her peers who needed some assistance. Mia embraced the opportunity.

“I really like it because some people have a harder time with things and like to help them get better at it,” she said. “I’m a natural helper but usually we’re not allowed to help” classmates with their assignments.

Himes sees real value in peer-to-peer assistance.

“Sometimes it doesn’t sink in when I am explaining, and having that peer interaction … sometimes that pushes that kid who is right on the brink of understanding to understanding,” she said.

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