Sunday, April 13, 2014

Lunch Math

Students organize, represent, and interpret lunch data! Before throwing their lunch away, students sort it into categories (paper, plastic, aluminum, glass, compost, trash). They tally how many they have of each item. Then, as a class, create a graph of all of the materials that were found in their lunch. 

Which material was most commonly found in their lunches? Was this material recyclable? If not, could they generate a solution to minimize the trash in their lunch? Is their a place to throw recyclables and compost in their cafeteria? What can they do about it? 

To celebrate Earth Day have a Trash-Less, Waste-Free Lunch Party! Challenge students to bring in a lunch that does not have any item that needs to be thrown away or even tossed in a recycle bin! Can they do it?

Reinforcement: Recycle-Roundup Game

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Asymmetrical Starburst

Students explore geometry and art by creating asymmetrical starburst designs!

1. Draw a line segment 3 to 5 inches long in the center of the paper.
2. Make dots around the line segment. (No dots on the horizontal line)
10 dots (5 above, 5 below for younger students / 15-20 dots for older students)
3. Connect the dots! - but, in a pattern. (Connect one end of the line segment to a dot, back to the other end of the line segment) - repeat (end of line segment-dot-other end of line segment) - use a ruler

Note: To simplify this project have children make their horizontal line a different color or add bright colored dots to the end of the line segment. Then, they will be able to see where they draw their lines to.

Math Connection:
Visit I Love That Teaching Idea for questions to ask children while they are constructing!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Mathematical Op Art

Students use their math skills to create op art! First, have students come up with a measurement for their line spacing between their parallel lines. The example has a 1/2 inch gap between each line. After students draw their parallel lines with a ruler, they choose five polygons to include in their composition. They draw their shapes using a ruler. Once their shapes are drawn, they create an AB pattern using two different colored markers, coloring around their shapes. Then, they go back and color their shapes to create an optical illusion! (see example).

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tape Resist Measuring Art

- painter's tape
- ruler (inches)
- tempera, acrylic, or water color paint (or other medium: crayons, markers, etc.)
- paint brushes
- thick cardstock paper
- pen

Students explore measuring, while creating aesthetically pleasing works of art. They tear different lengths of tape and place it on their paper (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal). After they place a single piece of tape, they measure it. Then, they write the measurement with pen on top of the tape. Once they're finished taping and measuring, they add color! They can paint or color over the tape. Their measurement lines will stay intact. Just make sure students don't paint over their recorded measurement, what they wrote with pen. After the paint dries, students carefully pull the tape off and write their measurement on their white line (see image).

Now, see if they can point out angles in their design. Can they find an acute, obtuse, or right angle? Have them examine their lines. Did they make any perpendicular or parallel lines?

Note: If you're working with older students, have them measure their angles with a protractor.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Adapting Human Gear

Students think about the adaptations of animals and create a product for humans. Example: a glove that allows you to climb up walls. Children become industrial designers. They think of a problem and come up with a solution for a new product.

Next Generation Science Standard (First Grade): Structure, Function, and Information Processing
Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.

Examples from NGSS:
turtle or acorn shell bicycle helmet, knee pads, backpack
animal tails and plant roots to stabilize a structure
plant thorns or porcupine quills to keep out intruders
exceptional eye sight or hearing to detect intruders
animal scales to protect from predators

Other Examples:
rattle to warn predators
beak to crack nuts
blubber to keep warm
gills to breath under water
change color to hide or communicate