The first full week of December comes to a close and tonight is our third annual STEM Night Out. I will write about it on Monday's blog entry. If this will be anything like the last two years, it will be a success! I want to thank all of the parents whose children are participating.
The weekly parent email has been sent out. Next week is Spirit Week so at the bottom of the email I have updated the Important Dates and Events chart to show each day's theme.
In math, we are finishing up with perimeter and while next week will have a shift to area of two dimensional figures (just squares and rectangles but some will be more complex), I will still be reviewing perimeter to keep skills sharp.
Block one's focus was on heavy review with a lot of examples of perimeter word problems. One of the concepts that can be confusing is when only dimensions of a rectangle are given: length and width. A big misconception is to add the two numbers.
For example, let's say a rectangle has a length of 7 cm and a width of 10 cm. A lot of students know that perimeter means to add up the sides so they will add 7 and 10 and think that that perimeter is 17. However, the actual perimeter is 34 cm since there are TWO lengths on a rectangle and TWO widths as well. This is something that just needs to be practiced and I will certainly continue to do so.
For Block 2, their activity was to first figure out the perimeters of each room of a fictional mansion and then calculate its outer perimeter. After lunch, they created their own complex floor plans and had others determine the perimeters. If the rooms had diagonals, they were told to just estimate since I really don't want to do the Pythagorean Theorem until after the winter MAP test.
In science, the students took notes for the second section of the energy unit. This focus on the three main properties of light (reflection, refraction, and absorption) though I do mention diffraction. I don't cover scattering, polarizing, etc. A copy of the notes is found here: http://www.millersclass.com/notes-and-study-guides.html
I did a short demonstration of refraction by shining three parallel beams of light, each in the primary colors of light (blue, red, green) through different lenses.