On this last day of February, we had Career Day, which shortened our schedules for the day.
We are continuing with fractions and focused entirely on multiplying a fraction by a whole number in block 1 and I added multiplying two fractions and multiplying mixed numbers.
Block 2 Extension:
In science we reviewed fossils and did another experiment using a sea shell to make a "fossil" imprint in Play-Doh and then poured in melted scented wax to make the cast.
We come to the end of another week and with the math common assessment completely behind us, we returned to a normal schedule. In math we are still in the fractions unit and today we learned about multiplying a fraction by a whole number. For example: 1/2 x 5. What is really means is, "What is one half of five?" To do this, you first make the five into a fraction by putting a one under it like this: 5/1. Because, the fraction bar really means divide so 5 divided by one is five.
Once that is in place, you multiply the numerators and the denominators. 1 x 5 = 5; 2 x 1 = 2 to get the improper fraction of 5/2. Convert it to a mixed number to get 1 1/2 and since it cannot be reduced, that is the product.
In science, we did a fun activity similar to Wednesday's demonstration. This time, instead of pressing a sea shell into Play-Doh to make a "fossil" imprint into "rock" and then pouring melted scented wax, we used edibles - my favorite!
Students were each given a piece of biscuit dough, one Swedish Fish or gummy worm, a plate, and a toothpick. Long before that, I had over a pound of candy melt disks all melted to a gooey consistency.
The task: place the dough onto the plate and press the candy into the dough deep enough to make an impression and hold it down for a minute or so to let it set. After that, they used their toothpicks to carefully pry out the candy and eventually eat them. After all, a fossil is just an imprint of an organism that is long gone.
Then, I called students up one row at a time to carefully pour the melted chocolate into their imprints. The next step is to set it aside for about 10 minutes to let it cool and harden. Once that has happened, pick up the dough and gently pop out the cast. Place it next to the candy to compare and then the best part: eat them!
One student inadvertently gave me a great idea for next year: cookie dough instead of biscuit dough! I am definitely going to try it this weekend!
This was our last day of the enrichment/retest process and tomorrow we return to normal with a study of multiplying fractions by whole numbers.
In science, we reviewed the content for the fossils section of the Earth History unit. Tomorrow we are going to do something hands-on and edible. It will involve something similar to what was demonstrated yesterday but using different materials. This activity will include something that I have never done before so it will be a new experience. That is a part of STEM: trying something new and see if it works. If it does, what can be improved? If if does not work, how can I do something different? We shall find out tomorrow!
For our third day of enrichment focusing on customary (US) units of measurement, we shifted to weights (ounce, pound, ton).
Block 2 Additional Warm-Up:
In science I did a brief review of the notes on fossils and then did a demonstration on making fossils and then a cast.
Traditionally, the way to do this in the classroom is to first make an imprint in modeling clay and then pouring wet plaster of Paris into the imprint. Plaster of Paris and modeling clay we have but the procedure would take longer than I would have wanted so I came up with an alternative: Play-Doh and melted scented wax.
First I coated the sea shell in corn oil to make it come out easier. Then, after flattening the Play-Doh, I gently pressed the sea shell into the slab until its edges were even with the surface of the Play-Doh. I then gently pried it out to leave an imprint of a "fossil."
Next, I carefully poured melted scented wax into the imprint. After roughly five minutes, the cast has cooled enough to be gently pried out and voila! It makes an almost perfect wax copy of the sea shell! Friday I will do something similar and yet different.
Also, I showed the class real insects encased in a resin to simulate "amber."