Calculating Speed

Today, we went outside and measured our speed. First we learned how to calculate average speed. We now know that:

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We then went outside to perform the following tasks:
– mark off 70 meters (we didn’t have enough space to run 100 meters)
– run 70 meters as fast as we could
– record our time
– calculate out average speed

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For fun, we then calculated Usain Bolt’s average speed when he ran the 100 meters in the world record time of 9.58 seconds. During Bolt’s record run, he covered an amazing 10.44 meters every second!

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Math Everywhere

I was thinking about teaching the fourth graders fractions, decimals, and a little percentages after break and wanted to show them how often I use this information in my daily life. I just wanted to take a stroll around my house to display to kids how often I use math.  Check out the different everyday tools and materials that involve math. 20130328-091123.jpg20130328-091516.jpg20130328-091720.jpg20130328-091821.jpg

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Measuring Volume…Outside!

Instead of calculating the volume of various objects in our classroom, we decided to take advantage of the pleasant, almost-spring weather by going outdoors. Our outdoor classroom was full of small groups working together to find the volume of everything from tissue boxes to a book. It’s amazing how much a little fresh air can make a task more enjoyable. It was a very nice way to end a fantastic week.

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Simple Math App

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For those wanting extra practice with basic math facts, I have a good app for you. I wanted to pass along this free, simple, helpful app called FlashToPass (it can be found in the App Store). Check it out.

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I know this is available for the iPhone and iPad, but I am not sure about Android. Any feedback on that would be welcome,

Working Together to Understand “Borrowing”

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Yesterday, the students of 4A were given a subtraction problem. With a partner, their task was to display their method of problem solving in four ways: 1) with base-ten pieces, 2) by drawing a picture, 3) by writing words, and 4) traditional arithmetic. The idea was to actually see what happens when you “borrow” while doing a subtraction problem rather than just following a process, thus gaining a deeper understanding of subtraction.

As I walked around the room and eavesdropped on conversations, I became more and more impressed with each group I watched. They became completely engaged in their learning; communicating their thinking with their partner and working through struggles.

I was blown away. This level of independent thinking and cooperative learning doesn’t normally happen this early in the school year. I was so proud of what the group accomplished.

Here is a sampling of some of the learning that took place:

Understanding Subtraction from Kevin Baumbach on Vimeo.