Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Math: Weather Data to Inform Decisions

Oh No! More Snow

Today in class, students analyzed the weather to decide what Burlington Public School should do tomorrow in the event of snow. Students looked at weather.com to see the hourly chance of precipitation, temperature and wind speed along with the Storm Alert.

From there students utilized the data to make informed decisions regarding school cancellations, delays, and early releases. In no way, shape or form is this a real report; however, the students took their roles responsibly. In the end, each group created their own Dr. Conti All Call to inform parents of any type of school change in the event of too much snow...again!

See some decisions we made along the way.

See what Dr. Conti might say if he listens:

Monday, March 19, 2018

Where is our Earth in the Universe?

After two snow storms and 4 snow days, we are finally finishing out our exploration of Earth in the Universe. We have discovered that the Earth spins counterclockwise by placing sundials on ourselves to see where the sun rises and sets. The children explored their own understanding of the vastness of space by making models of the distance between the Earth and the sun. They determined the relative size of the Earth as compared to the sun and more. However, today came as a real revelation when they could put everything they already knew into play along with what we've learned.

As all the students stood around the 'sun' today holding a map of the United States with an X on Burlington, one student stated, "I have to turn counterclockwise because the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. He used evidence to determine which way he had to turn. Success, he used a tool. Another student was struggling to determine which way the Earth revolves around the sun. We were able to draw from the last student and utilize a similar problem solving strategy. She compared herself to the skillfully spread out summer, fall, winter and spring solstices to determine that the Earth also orbits the sun in a counterclockwise direction.

There is so much more to tell, but hopefully you has a 202 student at home who can't wait to share.

Spreadsheets, Spreadsheets Everywhere

For those of you who don't know me, I love math and science! For me, teaching math is like teaching students how to do magic. It is magic! I love how you can pull the numbers together and make them work for you.

Every year, I teach the students how to make spreadsheets. It is such a great tie in to equations and the order of operations. At first, we review data analysis with mean, median, mode and range, but them we dive right into how to make the spreadsheet.

After they make my assigned spreadsheet, I challenge them to make their own using their math grades from class. Today, two topics later, they are still adding in their updated grades. 

Strong Shapes, Structures and Bridges

After almost a month of mini-lessons on planning and design students were sent to create their own bridges. Check it out. They all held the weight of the brick!