Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mathematics Update

Pumpkin Math

This week, each tribe had a pumpkin sitting on their table. Each tribe was asked to describe their pumpkin as well as compare it to the other pumpkins in the classroom. On Friday, we completed some investigations. We made some predictions about the pumpkins’ buoyancy and measurements. Some students predicted the pumpkins would float while some thought they were going to sink when we placed them in the tub of water. The pumpkins floated!

We also measured the circumference (“the belly”) of the pumpkins. The students measured the length of the stems, too. We also found out how much the pumpkins weighed. To discover the weight of the pumpkins, the students needed to weigh themselves and then weigh themselves holding their pumpkin. This provided a great opportunity to find the “difference”. The “difference” was the weight of the pumpkin!

This concept and the use of the term “difference” has been very challenging for the Grade 1s and 2s, so any chance to practice this skill should be utilized. Review of how to measure objects that are round, would also be beneficial. After trying to place cubes around the outside of the pumpkin, students realized that they needed to use a string first and then place the string on their table and place their cubes on the string to measure the pumpkin’s circumference.

We will continue to learn more about Measurement over the next two weeks. We will be measuring length, height, width, and perimeter. This week the students will be introduced to standard units of measurement – this is a Grade Two expectation.
Students will estimate and measure length, height, and distance, using standard units (i.e., centimetre, metre) and non-standard units
We will be using centimeters and meters to estimate and measure. We will be measuring using tools such as 30 cm rulers, measuring tapes, and metre sticks. Some activities that you can do at home to support your child’s learning are listed below.
  • Ask your child to estimate how much ribbon you'll need if you're wrapping a parcel.
  • Ask your child to estimate how many baby steps or giant steps it will take to walk across your kitchen, down a hallway, or to the front door, and have your child measure to check.
  • Gather some different-sized shoes and invite your child to line them up from shortest to longest.  Your child can use a ruler to measure the differences in the lengths.
  • make a family height chart and let your child estimate the height of each family member in centimeters.  Your child can use a measuring tape or metre stick to measure each height and record it on the chart.
  • Look for different ways people use measuring in their everyday lives.

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