Firstly, congratulations for participating in the biological control of bridal creeper using leaf-hoppers, the DPI project we completed last term. The leaf hoppers we bred in class were successfully released at Hawkesdale Apex Park during the last week of term 3. We hope many of them survived the cold and wet weather we had over the September school holidays!
Today we will be looking at two tasks on the computers – (1) continuing our Beetle Game (Maths 300) to learn more about probability and long-range frequencies and (2) entering our paper aeroplane data onto the Google docs. spreadsheet to compare our results with other students.
(1) Go to Maths 300 on the intranet and choose “Beetle Game”. Click on “Make a Beetle” and then play ten games by clickoing on “Auto” and then clicking on the space bar. What do your results suggest? If this was a carnival game, how would you organise the cost and prizes so that you can make some money? Then go to “Make many beetles” and choose how many people you think will play the game at a school fete or carnival. How do you think you should organise the prizes now?
(2) Go to the Google spreadsheet “Paper Aeroplane Flight Distance data” and enter your results from five trials. Calculate the mean, using a calculator and then check using the formula option in the spreadsheet. Compare your results with other students’ – how did your plane go? How can you improve your design to increase your flight distance?
(3) If you have completed the above tasks, write a blog post about one of the three activities – releasing leaf hoppers to control bridal creeper, the “Make a beetle” game or Paper Aeroplane project.
This week in year 7 maths we are looking at ‘pi’ – we started by drawing and measuring the radius and circumference of lots of circles around the school. We added all our results to a table, with columns for radius, diameter and circumference. Students quickly realized that the circumference of a circle was always a little bit more than three times the diameter of the circle. Next we will read about how Archimedes ‘discovered’ pi – he determined the value of the ratio between the diameter and circumference very accurately over 200 years BC! We will also do an activity that shows how you can calculate the area of a circle and learn more about the famous mathematical symbol – pi.
Screencapture from Maths300 software download
Congratulations Year 7 students on the way they tackled the “Cracked Tiles” problem on Maths 300 today. The problem is that a man has just laid tiles in a rectangular room, and now the electrician wants to lay a diagonal cable across the floor, cracking the tiles. How many tiles need to be replaced?
If you can work out a formula, or demonstrate a way of working out the answer for any sized room, you will be rewarded handsomely! If you like these sort of logic problems, you may like to try “Who owns the fish?”.
“The Futures Channel movies and activities delivers hands-on, real-life maths and science lessons to your classroom.” This week’s great site is a collection of short, real-life movies that connect maths, science and technology learning to the real world. Each movie is coupled with learning activities that explore concepts such as algebra, measurement, probability, exponential growth and more. Students can design a ‘Ground Gripper’ sports shoe, explore population growth in black-footed ferrets or use percentages to create colours.
I’m going to add these two links here too, so i don’t lose them! Transfer Big Files is a site where (apparently) you can send large files free. Great for sending video, photo-stories, Powerpoints etc that are too big for email. Overstream is a site where you can add subtitles to existing videos – so for example if you wanted to narrate over an experiment, make a parody, send a personalised message……….
Well, I haven’t been doing much interesting during the holidays, but I have found some new websites for my action research project (Social networking in maths and science learning). I found a link to an all-maths video site (Mathtrain.TV) on bexta’s Technomaths site, which shows a ‘kids-teaching-kids’ approach to maths problems. I’ve used the kids-teaching-kids methodology for environmental education at the Riverhealth conferences in Canberra, Mildura and Port Fairy. These have been very effective in engaging students in a specific issue and having them research and present the issue to their peers. I might just try maths videos with my year 7 class during term 4!
Classroom 2.0 is such a great source of information and help when you need it! I started a discussion, asking for any tips about applications that you can use to write on a whiteboard or tablet and have students access it from home, for maths homework help for example. Another teacher had been experimenting with this application, called ‘skrbl’ for a similar purpose. You can capture work done on a ‘whiteboard’ and post it as a webpage, quickly and easily, without downloading any software.
“Can social networking tools improve student outcomes in middle years maths and science classes?”
This is the question I will be trying to answer over the next twelve weeks or so, with my year 7 and year 9 classes. I have created a Google docs survey for my students to complete prior to starting the project, and then again at the end of the project to determine if their is any impact on their learning from using social networking tools, such as blogs and wikis. Here is the survey:
“My Sports Pulse is an educational game delivered via Voice Messaging, SMS/text messaging, Web, and video messaging to mobile devices such as cell phones. Each message contains a sports themed question that not only tests your sports knowledge, but teaches you aspects of maths, science, and technology in a totally fun way! You’ll wish all your classes were taught this way. Once you receive the question, submit your answer via text message. It’s that easy.” I’ve just sent off a message to register Hawkesdale College students as participants in this exciting new program. Stay tuned!
Students enjoyed a Maths300 activity during Literacy and Numeracy Week, estimating the number of chocolate chips a manufacturer would need to add to a batch of ten cookies to try to ensure that each biscuit had a minimum of 7 chocolate buds. Initially some students believed that just a few more than 70 should suffice, while others decided the more the better and thought a few hundred should be added – just to make sure! After coming up with some ways to use random number generators to model the problem (10-sided dice, cards, throwing stones on a 2 x 5 grid) we used the Maths300 software to generate a stem and leaf plot for 100 trials. Following the activity, students estimated that between 110 and 150 chocolate buds were sufficient to have confidence that each cookie contained 7 choc buds. And now they want to make cookies…..