This classic problem promoted communication of mathematical ideas and a variety of classroom solution. Students applied and adapted a variety of appropriate strategies to solve the problem, recognizing that the strategy required them to start at the end of the of the problem (each sailor received seven coconuts and one left over); performing the inverse operation at each step. Students also monitored and reflected on the process of their mathematical problem solving during their group "share", communicating their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to their classmates and teacher.
Last week students spent time in the science lab testing a variety of materials (salt, sand, oil, and an Alka-Seltzer tablet) to see what happens when they are mixed with water: what dissolves, what reacts and what remains unaffected.
Students hypothesized what they thought would happen based on what they already knew about each of the materials. While conducting each test, students captured their observations in words, images and videos. As you could imagine, the lab was buzzing with excitement, students eagerly calling their teacher over, wanting to share what they had observed, attempting to explain the science behind what happened.
Back in the classroom, students shared what their group observed for each test and their wonders. For example, many students wanted to know why the salt appeared to "disappear" when they stirred it with the water. Others wanted to know why the oil "floated" on the water or why the sand "sank to the bottom" and would not "mix" with the water. The overwhelming wonder each class shared was, "what caused the Alka-Seltzer to fizz in the water?" Using their iPads, students were now driven to deepen their scientific understanding by researching the science behind what happened with each test. This gave each student the confidence to speak like a "real chemists."
Now that students where beginning to feel like chemists their final task was to create a method to separate one of the materials from the water. Using their creativity and knowledge, groups worked together to develop a method and list of materials needed to accomplish this task. Prior to going back in the lab groups shared their method with their peers to receive feedback. Based on the feedback, some groups needed to adjust their method or complete further research, calling on the expertise of their peers.
Throughout this scientific process of separating the materials from the water, students discovered: that when a solid material dissolves, it can be recovered as a crystal by evaporating the liquid; you can always get the sand out of the water by filtering the water away; oil and water are two liquids that are immiscible – they will not mix together; and that when two materials react to form a new material, the original materials cannot be recovered because a chemical change has occurred.
“Drawing even the little things helps to focus the mind, calm the spirit. There’s always something to be drawn.” - Clare Walker Leslie
Students spent the second week of school experiencing a spirited yet tranquil exploration of the living world by creating their own magic spot to nature journal. Their nature journal compels them to become a naturalist, slowing down to observe, reflect, and embrace their connection to the living mosaic that is their environment.
Students worked through your first Think, Pair, Share word problem of the school year! In the Bridge Crossing Problem students were first challenged to THINK independently about the problem, identifying key information that may help them begin to formulate a strategy. Next, students had an opportunity to PAIR with other peers to share their thoughts about the problem and listen to their peers thinking. With their partner, they decided upon a strategy to figure out a solution to the problem. Once a solution was reached, students SHARE their strategy with others, explaining and showing what they did and why they did it. Many students chose to share their problem solving strategies and reasoning digitally, which they then uploaded to Edmodo. During SHARE time students were provided with an opportunity to justify their strategies and receive feedback on what they did well in their explanation and suggestions to clarify their mathematical communication.