Category Archives: Learning Opportunities

#70 Algebra in Pictures

Images to create this puzzle taken from pdclipart.org

One of the things I struggled with when taking Algebra was the use of letters (variables) to represent numbers.  However, if we remove the letters and replace them with pictures, somehow Algebra becomes a little more manageable.

How can I spend my Math Minutes?

  1. Figure out the picture puzzle above stating what the ? represents in the final “equation”.  On a piece of paper, put your answer along with your first and last name, grade, school, and classroom teacher.  Give it to your EY Coordinator (or tell your classroom teacher to “pony” it to EY at Sunset Hills).  All correct answers will be put in a drawing for a $5 gift card to be drawn on March 31.
  2. Create your own picture puzzle.  I used Keynote, but you could use Explain Everything, Pic Collage, or another iPad app.  Pictures for your puzzle can be found at https://www.pdclipart.org/ These puzzles can be emailed to Dr. Spady (ask your EY Coordinator or classroom teacher for the correct email) by March 31 for another entry into the drawing for the $5 gift card.
  3. Figure out the 8 puzzles pictured below.  On a piece of paper, put your answers along with your first and last name, grade, school, and classroom teacher.  Give it to your EY Coordinator (or tell your classroom teacher to “pony” it to EY at Sunset Hills).

Thank you Mrs. Bridwell for the inspiration to create this post!  Thank you to Mrs. Bridwell’s 6th graders for all the great puzzles below!

#69: Snowiest February

Who knew SNOWIEST was even a word?!

Was February 2019 the SNOWIEST of all time?

How can I spend my Math Minutes?
  1. Create 1, 2, or 3 different graphs to display the data above.  For a clearer image of the data, click here.   Use the Create-A-Graph website to make a graph of the data.  Be sure to include a title and label your axes.
    • Top 5 Snowiest Februarys
    • The Top 5 Snowiest Winter Seasons (Dec-Jan-Feb)
    • Top 5 Snowiest Winters (Jul 1- Jun 20).
  2. Take a look at the graphs in the image below.  For a clearer image of the graphs, click here.  The information in the blue box is particularly helpful in reading the graphs.  Answer any of the following questions by leaving a comment and/or leave a question for someone else to answer.
    • How many times in January/February 2019 did the temperature range fall mainly in the record highs?  What about the record lows?
    • On how many dates was the temperature range very small (short blue bar)?
    • How many times did the temperature range fall in the average section (green)?
    • What do you find interesting about these graphs?

 

 

 

Social Studies Enrichment #27: “Presidents’ Day”? The Truth Behind the Holiday

In 1879, the United States made Washington’s February 22nd Birthday a federal holiday. Today, the third Monday in February is frequently referred to as “Presidents’ Day.” So which is it? Let’s get to the bottom of what’s official and what’s not.

According to mountvernon.org, George Washington was a humble man who did not enjoy flashy celebrations. During his lifetime, Washington didn’t really celebrate his birthday, choosing instead to use the day to respond to letters or attend to matters at Mount Vernon. However, national celebration of his birthday began while he was alive and continued after his death.

The road to what the majority of people in the United States now recognizes as Presidents’ Day is a long and confusing one. After Washington died in 1799, his birthday was informally celebrated across the country. But, it wasn’t until  January 31, 1879, that Washington’s birthday became a federally recognized holiday.

Washington’s birthday is also recognized in another unique fashion. Starting in 1896, it has become a tradition to read Washington’s Farewell Address on February 22nd (the actual day of his birth) in the US Senate by a current member. This tradition reminds us of a man whose patriotic spirit still inspires us to this day, particularly federal workers who uphold what he helped create.

On June 28th, 1968, Congress passed the “Uniform Monday Holiday Act”. This law aimed to provide uniform annual observances of certain legal public holidays on Mondays. The act was also created to provide federal employees with more three-day weekends. Under this new law, Washington’s birthday would be celebrated on the third Monday of February, partially losing the value and identity of the importance of his birthday. Washington’s birthday has not been celebrated on the actual day of his birth since the law took effect in 1971.

Today the nation typically combines Washington’s Birthday with Presidents’ Day, celebrating both days on the third Monday in February. However, Presidents’ Day is not the official name of the holiday. While the name “Presidents’ Day” was proposed for this Monday holiday in 1951, the U.S. government never officially changed the name. In the 1980s, thanks to advertising campaigns for holiday sales, the term became popularized and largely accepted.

The idea behind the name was to create a holiday that did not recognize a specific president, but rather celebrated the office of the presidency. This joint recognition would also celebrate President Lincoln’s February 12th birthday within the same period. Both great men, both important to our country.

Source: mountvernon.org

Social Studies Enrichment #26: Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a holiday celebrated around the world in February. Learn about the history of this famous day, and discover some interesting facts!.

The Famous Holiday of Love

A few weeks before February 14th rolls around, what types of commercials do you see on TV more often? If you guessed ones about flowers, rings, and chocolates, you’re exactly right! These are gifts that are commonly given on the holiday that celebrates love: Valentine’s Day.

However, in the beginning, this holiday did not celebrate love. It was actually a Christian feast celebration. In the 14th century, the idea of love became a part of this holiday. It’s widely thought that Valentine’s Day was declared an official holiday in England in the 1500s by King Henry VIII.

Nowadays, it’s a major holiday around the world. People in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe celebrate this holiday of romance and love. Billions of dollars are spent each year on chocolates, cards, and flowers.

Watch the video below to learn more Valentine’s Day facts!

 

Reading Enrichment #39: It’s All About the Heart

 

For many years, the heart was a mystery.  What did it do?  What was it there for?  Let’s learn all about this muscle.

Video

This TEDed lesson will help you investigate how the heart keeps you alive.

Reading

 Years ago, people thought emotions came from the heart!  Read this article to find out more about how the heart works.

Show What You Learned

 Choose one of these prompts and respond with 3-5 sentences.

What are some ways to keep your heart healthy?

What are the four chambers of the heart called, and what does each chamber do?

Why was it so difficult for scientists and doctors to figure out what the heart was for?

Take It a Step Further

Create a visual explaining how the heart works.  Include as many details as possible.  Please share this project with your teacher.

#68 The Math Behind Pringles

This Math Minute was inspired by the Pringles commercial that played during Super Bowl LIII.

Thanks to Ava and Karin too for your help!

I’ve always been intrigued by the shape of Pringles, but this commercial took it to the next level and had me pondering the mathematics behind this beloved chip!

How can you spend your Math Minutes this week?

  1. Read about the Geometry of Pringles by visiting this website: https://interestingengineering.com/geometry-of-pringles-crunchy-hyperbolic-paraboloid Post a comment about something new you learned.  Make sure to include your first name only, grade, and school (i.e. Ava, 6, Loveland).
  2. Watch this video on stacking Pringles in a complete circle.  If you try it yourself, make sure to record it! 🙂  Check out Cooper and Jack’s attempt!
  3. A Pringles can is a cylinder that is 30 cm tall.  The circles at each end of the can have a radius of 4 cm.  Find the surface area and volume of the can.  Click here for help with the formulas.  Turn in your work to the EY Coordinator at your building.
  4. Create a package that will hold a single Pringle.  Send it to yourself (or a friend) in the mail and see if your package kept it protected during its journey (didn’t cause it to break).
  5. Check out this interactive Pringle stacking website! https://www.pringles.com/us/wowyoucanstackpringles.html Leave a comment with the combination you think would taste the best!

The #spadyboys had a friendly Pringle Stacking Competition/Taste Test the other night.  Check out the video!

#67 Rose Bowl Parade

parade | pəˈrād | noun

a public procession, especially one celebrating a special day or event and including marching bands and floats.

Who doesn’t love a good parade?  People throwing out candy from elaborately decorated floats, listening to marching bands while baton twirlers dance by, watching the line of fancy cars drive by with kings and queens waiving…the list goes on!  Have you ever participated in a parade?  What is something you remember?  When I was in 4th grade, I dressed up as one of the orphans from Annie and walked in my hometown parade.  My little sister was Annie and my older sister was Miss Hannigan.

One of my favorite holiday traditions is watching the Rose Bowl Parade on New Year’s Day.  This year marked the 130th parade in Pasadena, California.

How can you spend your Math Minutes?

  • Read about the Parade here: https://tournamentofroses.com/about/ and post a “number fact” about the parade.  For example:  45.5 Million people watch the parade on television and 700,000 (estimated) watch it live. Source Feel free to post as many facts as you like.
  • Create a Infographic about some of the data you found out about the parade.  Check out Violet’s example.
  • Read about the Design and Manufacturing process for floats.  Leave a comment with something new you learned and/or your idea for a float.

 

image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/karmakazesal/4146346672

Reading Enrichment # 38: The Mystery of the Upside-Down Catfish

Learn about the interesting Upside-Down Catfish by completing the following…

Start by watching a video about them:

https://www.kqed.org/science/1922038/the-mystery-of-the-upside-down-catfish

Show what you learned by choosing three of the prompts to complete.  Post your response as a comment or email your response to the EY coordinator at your building.

  • Using many details, explain why an Upside-Down Catfish swims upside-down.
  • How is this fish camoflaged?
  • What part of the video was most interesting to you and why?
  • What other questions do you have about Upside-Down Catfish?

Take it a step further by conducting research to find another animal that has camoflage.  What part of the animal is camoflaged? How does this help the animal?

Social Studies Enrichment #25: Winter Solstice

What is the Winter Solstice?

According to Dictionary.com the Winter Solstice lasts for just one moment. It occurs exactly when the Earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun. This usually happens around December 21 or 22 in the Northern Hemisphere or June 20 or 21 in the Southern Hemisphere.

If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, during the solstice the sun will be at its southernmost point in the sky. The higher in latitude you are, the more you’ll notice that the solstice has the shortest day and longest night of the year.

In ancient cultures around the globe, the winter solstice was marked with ceremonies and celebrations. For example, in the days of the Inca Empire the winter solstice was honored with Inti Raymi, or Festival of the Sun. It involved a ceremony in which an Inca priest would “tie” the sun to a column stone in a symbolic effort to keep it from escaping.

Halfway around the world, indigenous people in Finland, Sweden, and Norway participated in the Beiwe Festival. On the winter solstice, worshippers honored the goddess Beiwe by sacrificing white female animals and covering their doorposts with butter for Beiwe to eat on her travels.

Want to learn about how some other cultures celebrate the Winter Solstice? Check out this post from History.com! Click on the picture below to access the article.  When you’re done with the article, comment below with how you’d like to celebrate the Winter Solstice, which occurs this year on December 21st!

#66 Alpha Bravo Charlie

Say what?

A student recently asked me if I knew the NATO alphabet.  I hadn’t heard of it so I told him to send me an email about it and voila…We have our #66 Math Minute Post!

Here are a few ideas on how you can spend your Math Minutes…

CM (Charlie Mike): Means continue mission.  Keep moving forward.  

Thanks Alex from Swanson for this great Math Minute post idea!  I love learning new things!