Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Budget Project

Why Math? Let Me Tell You!

There is something great about math projects! It always gives students purpose; it answers the question, "Why do we have to do that?" So, I built on last year's in class Budget Project by typing it up, sharing it with students and printing it for them to fill out. On top of that, they were given some extras that didn't even exist as options last year.

We started off with a discussion about income. I am afraid to admit that one student thought I might make $500 A YEAR! The children had to research a profession they were interested in pursuing. I told them they could not earn more than $150,000 a year. There wouldn't be much to gain from a budget with no limits. They were then asked to calculate what their real earnings would be after state and federal taxes. There were quite a few boohoos at this. From there, the students had to grocery shop for the week.

Week two consisted of house hunting. They looked for homes, condominiums, townhouses and apartments in Burlington. They also had to calculate out their property taxes. More boohoos and a few questions about finding roommates (which some did.) Week three was all about buying a car and calculating out the cost of the loan and insurance. Week 4 allowed the children to determine the water bill, heat and power.

Throughout the process, children read charts, followed rules, multiplied using decimals and percentages and more. In the end, they had to make decisions about what they can afford. The were assigned a budget spreadsheet through Google Classroom. The formulas were set so the children could put in their weekly, monthly or yearly costs and have it calculate the monthly spending and finally come up with a disposable income figure.

With an end in sight, the children used Slides to make a presentation to display where they will live, what they buy and more. They were asked to plan a vacation with their disposable income. I wonder what kind of trips they will take...if any. I can't wait to see them when they are all done!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Plant Pictionary or Charades Anyone?

Plants are Amazing

Plants take in water from their roots and
sunlight from their leaves for energy to grow
In the last week before vacation we decided to review some old topics. Animal Classification was a breeze. The children really remembered vertebrates, invertebrates, cold-blooded and warm blooded animals. Then came the real fun. The assignment: REVIEW PLANTS and BECOME AN EXPERT! The children were assigned topics to teach using charades or pictionary as a teaching tool. Let's see what we learned.

Seeds hold what is needed to make plants. They use water and stored food to sprout.
As the seeds begin to sprout, they grow to be plants or trees. These plants and trees also produce more seeds so that more trees and plants will develop in the future.
Plants respond to their environment in four major ways. They grow up toward the sunlight even if the plant is planted sideways, they turn to face the sun, the roots grow down into the earth and they will grow toward a water source, and finally the plant will grow up a supportive structure if one is near. 
Plants have three major structures. The roots are in the earth. The stem supports the plant or tree. The leaves make food and even direct water to the roots.
Photosynthesis is the process by which plants utilize carbon dioxide, sunlight and water to make food. 

Pollination is the process of pollen going from flower to flower so that more flowers can grow. This can be accomplished by bees, wind and more.

Friday, April 17, 2015

2, 4, 6, 8, 103 Tessellates

After looking at the Blizzard Bag assignments, I decided to stray from the math text and talk about tessellations. Mr. Schersten came and taught a lesson on what they are and some really cool ways to play with them. Finally we took some time today to make our own. Check it out.