Today in math we reviewed multiplication and then did a focus lesson on problem solving. I am not an expert on math nor math instruction. To me, though, this is what real math is: taking the skills of calculation to actually solve problems; to apply and utilize what is learned with hypothetical situations.
There will be a short, ten question quiz tomorrow which utilizes multiplication. Students are free to use whichever method (standard algorithm, lattice, area modeling, partial products, etc.) they feel most comfortable with using.
In science, we answered the question of: "Where does the solid material go when a solution is made?" The key concept that was learned is that when a solid is mixed with a solvent (water), it doesn't just go away. It becomes a part of the solution and adds to the mass. How did we do it? This is how.....
I first set up a balance scale and had to calibrate it to make sure that it was balanced as perfectly as I could make it. I then placed an empty clear plastic cup at each end. Next, I filled a syringe with 50 ml of water and squirted it into one of the cups.
Once this happened, the scale tipped in favor of the water. In order to determine the mass of the water, we added weights to the cup at the other end until it achieved a balance - about 50 grams. By that, we determined the weight of the water.
The next step was to add some salt to the water and mix it until it is completely dissolved. The class was asked the focus question ("Where does the solid material go when a solution is made?") and we came to the conclusion that it simply adds to the mixture.
How can it be proven?
By returning the cup of what now contains the salt water solution back to the scale, we observed that it tipped back in favor of the water. That was proof that the salt didn't just go away, it was a part of the solution and the added weight proved it.
Next question: how can we remove the salt from the water? After a very good discussion, we arrived at the idea of evaporation. So I evenly distributed the water onto a drying try. Once it completely evaporates, all that should remain is a salty residue. Now we wait.
In literacy, we continued with theme with a discussion about connections and disconnections to a text. A connection is simple something from the text that the reader can relate to, agree with. A disconnection is the opposite. Usually for most readers, when there is a character in a story who can be related to, the story becomes more enjoyable. This isn't true for every reader but for most, though either way is just fine.