Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Circles, Circumference, and Pi

When learning about circles, we first read the books:
"Sir Cumference and the First Round Table" and "Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi."  Then we measured the circumference, radius, and diameter of lids, plates, and embroidery hoops. Then the girls had to figure out how much ribbon would exactly go around a can by using those measurements.
Then we measured the circumference of an apple and figured out what the diameter would be if we cut it as shown in this picture. Then we measured to see if we were right.

Then we had fun with tortillas. The girls then folded over a tortilla to form a semicircle. Then we had to figure out how to find its perimeter. Then they folded it over again to make a quarter circle. Then they figured out how to find that perimeter. Then we learned how to find the perimeter when part of a circle is attached to another shape. We cut the quarter circle out and turned it around to make a square corner attached to the rest of the circle (like a tear drop). 

The best part of learning about pi was celebrating with real pie.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Triangle Fun

Sorting Triangles
The girls wrote each kind of triangle on a slip of paper and then they raced to sort different triangles into the right category.
Here are some silly ways we used to help them
remember each kind of triangle.
My daughter loved figuring out the missing angle measurement so all three angles added together were equal to 180 degrees. She didn't want to stop so she kept making up new triangle measurements even after she had completed all the ones in the book.

Triangle Hunt—Put these labels on the wall (Right, Isosceles, Scalene, and Equilateral). Cut out four of each kind on different colors of paper. Then hide them around the house. Let the children hunt for them and tape them on the wall under the correct label.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pizza Angles

 One of the best, and funnest, ways to "internalize" a lesson about angles is to eat one. The girls had fun eating their angles. We started by cutting a round, pre-cooked pizza crust, into fourths, each having a 90 degree or right angle. Two of them put together were equal to 180 degrees, so they were supplementary angles.
We reinforced the concept of complementary angles (two angles whose measurement combined is equal to 90 degrees) by having the girls cut their 90 degree angle into two angles.  Then they got to put on their toppings. Yum, yum, yum!

Fun DNA, RNA, and Protein Assembly

We did this activity when we were learning the concept DNA makes RNA makes protein. Here's what we did. First, the girls had to find DNA cards that were hidden around the frontroom, or nucleus. Each card had a code that needed to be deciphered. Each card also had a copy of that code taped to it. When the girls found a DNA card, they put on an RNA hat and took the copy. Under the copy was written the way they had to transport the code to the Kitchen, which represented the ribosomes. As you can see, Jennifer had to transport it by crawling on her hands and feet and Jessica had to transport it by crouching down.
Next the girls had to translate the code by using the code translator card in the ribosomes (kitchen). Each code was an ingredient that would be used in our protein assembly cooking project.
After they translated all the cards then they collected the ingredients and put the cards next to them. Each code had a symbol next to it. On the recipe, the symbols were shown instead of the ingredient. So the girls had to figure out what the ingredient was by matching the symbols.  Finally, the girls got to assemble their
protein, which ended up being yummy peanut butter balls.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Geometry Fun With Points, Lines, and Angles

The girls made points with flat sprinkle dots. They liked the fact that they tasted good too. Then they labeled some of the points and connected them to make line segments. We also used spaghetti noodles to create and label line segments. In the above picture Jennifer has created two congruent line segments with noodles.

Next, we created points on a plane with the pins in this string art craft. The circle used as a pattern was a plane shape. The board was made by gluing corkboard between foam display board and covering with black felt.

Then we used embroidery floss to connect the points and made line segments and angles. The girls used their own ideas to make their designs. Below are their finished products. Pretty cool, huh?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Isolating the Variable in a fun way

Leave it Alone and Jump the Fence Game
(Isolating the Variable)

This is a game where in an equation, numbers are soldiers and variables are dangerous items. The equal or inequality sign are the fence. On one side of the fence is a number (a product, quotient, sum, or difference). On the other side is a variable expression--it includes the variable.

Use 3x5 blank cards. Fold them in half the short way. Then use them to write out an equation, and then put separate equations together with a paper clip. Prepare the cards in this way:
Variable Cards
On each one, write a variable letter on the outside. On the inside, write a description of a dangerous item.  (See the list below for the ones we used)
Sargeant Cards
Write the sum or difference on one side of this folded card.
Soldier Cards
Write the number in the variable expression on one side of this folded card.
Operation Identification Cards
Write the operation of the equation on one side of this folded card. On the other side (not the inside) write the inverse or opposite operation (if one side is + the other side is --.
Fence Cube
On each side of a cube or square Kleenex box, write or tape a card on each side with a plus or minus sign or a greater than or less than sign.

How to Play
Pick a set of equation cards and set them up with the fence cube so the equation is the way it should be like this:
Example: x+16=30.
In this example, the number 30 is the Sargeant who asks Soldier 16, "What have you found? Then the child looks inside the variable card and reads the description of what it is.  Then Sargeant says "Leave it alone!" The child then has to take the "16" card and the Operation ID card and jump the fence to the other side where the Sargeant is. In doing so, the Operation ID card flips around so the inverse operation shows. Then the cards are set up like this:
Now the equation can be solved.

Dangerous Variable Cards
C= crouching cougar
Q= queen bee
A= angry ants
R= rattlesnake
W= wicked warrier with a weapon
N= nasty newt
H= horrible hogs
D= deadly dragons
P= poisonous plants
Y= yellow jackets
M= mean monsters
T= terrible termites

Dry Ice Science

First we dropped a few pieces of dry ice in water.
Then we added some dish soap and watched the bubbles erupt. 

Then we created a giant bubble by putting dry ice in water in a bowl. Then we slid a strip of cloth, soaked in soapy water, across the top to create a soap film that collected the gas. The result was amazing.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fun with the Parts of a Cell

When we learned about the different parts of a cell there were different stations with an activity associated with each part of the cell. At each station was a paper with a description of that part of the cell. Here is what we did.

Organelles -- Since organelles perform important functions for the cell, the girls put on a headband with an "L" and became Robot L with the name of "Organ L". Then they had to walk around like a robot and speak in a robot voice and say "I am Organ L. How can I help you?"

Since ribosomes are the protein assembly factories of the cell, at this station the girls assembled or built things with blocks. 

The yarn at this station represented the cilia, the short hair-like structures found on the outside of some cells. The girls danced to music while holding the yarn in their hands and mouth.
To represent the cytoplasm, the liquid part of the cell that all the other parts "float around in", we put water and oil in a jar. The girls then added food coloring and dropped in various items to represent the parts of the cell. These items included grapes, nutes, mandarin oranges, sprinkles, and macaroni.

I used yogurt raisins to represent the mitochondria, the power plants of the cell that convert sugar into a form of energy the cell can use. As I gave each of the girls some to eat, they had to say "that's mighty kind-of-ya" (mitochondria).

We used a parachute to represent the membrane. The girls and I lifted it up and then brought it down around us so we were inside and it surrounded us.

The Easter grass represented the nucleoid of a prokaryotic cell, not surrounded by a membrane. The bean bags hidden inside represented the genetic material that is found in the nucleoid. Each beanbag had a letter on it, and when the girls found one they had to tell a genetic trait that began with that letter.

The bean bag chairs represented the nucleus of a eukaryotic cell that is surrounded by a membrane. The bean bags hidden between the bean bag chairs represented the genetic material that is found in the nucleus. The girls had to run and jump onto the beanbag chairs and then reach in and pull our a beanbag with a letter on it. Then they had to tell a genetic trait that began with that letter.

To represent the cytoskeleton that gives shape and structure to the cell, the girls had to get under a blanket and give it some kind of shape with their body.

Endomembrane System
For this system, which transports materials around the cell, the girls had to transport a stuffed animal across the room while doing a crab walk.

The long yellow ribbons represented the flagella, the long tail that sticks out of a cell and helps the cell move. The girls had one in each hand and danced to music while waving the ribbons.

Since chloroplasts convert light energy into chemical energy, this station was in the bathroom, which could be completely dark. The girls had to shine a flashlight on a tube that had baking soda in it. Then they poured some vinegar in it and the chemical reaction occurred.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Multiplying and Dividing Decimals by Powers of Ten

Sidewalk Chalk Decimal Fun
 First the girls wrote a giant decimal number with sidewalk chalk.
Then they stood on the decimal in the origional number, but then moved to where the decimal would move when told to multiply by a power of ten like 100, 1000, etc. or to divide by a power of ten.
We used the following chant with actions to help in remembering which way to move the decimal when multiplying or dividing by a power of ten in exponent form. The number of zeros in the number you are multiplying by (like 100 or 10,000) is the same as the number of the exponent.

Move the Decimal
(Snap to the beat)

To MULTIPLY a number by a power of ten
Move the decimal to the RIGHT (jump)
Move the decimal to the RIGHT (jump)
You move as many places as the number of the power
And jump to the RIGHT (jump)
Jump to the RIGHT (jump).

To DIVIDE a number by a power of ten
Move the decimal to the LEFT (jump)
Move the decimal to the LEFT (jump)
You move as many places as the number of the power
And jump to the LEFT (jump)
Jump to the LEFT (jump).

Edible Decimal Dice Activity
Shake 3 or 4 dice and write each number as a digit in a 3-or 4-digit decimal number. Then place a chocolate chip where you want the decimal to be. Make a dice or spinner with different powers of ten. Shake the dice or spin the spinner to see what power of ten you will multiply your decimal by. Then move the decimal to the correct spot to show what the product is. Write in extra zeros if needed so your decimal is in the right place.