Crowd Sourcing Fourth Graders

by Deirdre Bailey Cross-posted on Savouring the Ish I’ve got a novel on iPads in the grade four classroom waiting to be written. Lots of discoveries, ideas, struggles and triumphs. I just need to find the time to document it all properly. This brief gem, however, is too awesome not to share. Earlier this year, our teaching team’s excited discovery of the Edmodo app as an excellent resource for collecting and organizing student work digitally and providing an avenue for ongoing feedback was stinted by the limitation of only being able to upload images or links from the iPads. Our optimism was recently renewed … Continue reading Crowd Sourcing Fourth Graders

Alternative Methods of Multiplication

Candice Shaw- Grade 7 Math and Science In Grade 7, simple mathematical operations are not often a focus of instruction. If they are, it is in relation to operations with decimal numbers. Extending addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division processes to decimal numbers does not seem like a difficult task to the math savvy person, but we came upon some roadblocks when covering this topic. Reviewing the purposes and processes of multiplication and division was essential, as some students still held misconceptions, or had simply internalized the process for a correct answer, without realizing the key ideas of the process. As … Continue reading Alternative Methods of Multiplication

Grade 7 Math Fair

Candice Shaw and Carolyn Armstrong~ Grade 7 Math/Science On December 19 our grade 7 students hosted their Math Fair. Students were given the task of finding a challenging math problem that isn’t easily solved at first glance and has possible extension activities. Students created their trifolds and activities to share with the rest of the school. CSS Grade 7 Math Fair from Calgary Science School on Vimeo. Student Assignment:1. Choose a math problem that is not easily solved at first glance. A math fair problem should make anyone have to stop and think. Once you have chosen a problem, it … Continue reading Grade 7 Math Fair

Trees and Forests Inquiry Grade 6

Does the Weaselhead Natural Area produce enough oxygen to sustain Calgarians? Greg Neil~ Grade 6 Math and Science Our grade 6 students investigated this question in their Math/Science classes this year. The question was developed as part of a brainstorming session with students. This inquiry required the use of numerous mathematical skills, introduced students to the idea of assumptions and bias in Science, reinforced the need for accurate data and provided an authentic investigation into an important natural region close to the school. A current proposal to build a ring road through this natural area, made this project even more … Continue reading Trees and Forests Inquiry Grade 6

Math & Science Inquiry Projects

CSS Math & Science Inquiry Projects Database Our Math and Science Team has created a Google Doc to house a database of inquiry projects that they will use throughout the year. The goal of this database is to provide a place where teachers within the school and ultimately, teachers from outside the school, can see how we foster inquiry within our own classrooms. If you would like to learn more about one of the projects or have a question please add a comment below.Click here to visit the Project Database:CSS Math and Science Inquiry Project Database Continue reading Math & Science Inquiry Projects

Action Research: The Model Method in Solving Word Problems

-by Kevin Sonico “Show me your ‘thinking’.”  “Explain your process.”  These are two statements that are often used to encourage students to communicate their strategies in solving a word problem.  In my experience, what is often produced, written, and described are algorithms, equations, and other symbolic representations.  Rarely have students submitted strategies that comprised of visual methods.  Because of this, I set out to see if there is an effect of explicitly teaching a visual strategy, namely the model method, in helping students solve problems.  Through the use of models, students worked on word problems around the concepts of fractions, … Continue reading Action Research: The Model Method in Solving Word Problems

Big Numbers and Sky Science: Grade 6 Math/Science Integration

-by Candice Shaw, Grade 6 Math/Science In the Grade 6 curricula, there are many opportunities for meaningful integration between subjects. The Sky Science unit and Large Number topics fit harmoniously together. With a focus on problem solving, students first went about solving a variety of astronomy themed problems, such as “How many times further is Saturn’s distance from the Sun than Earth’s distance from the Sun?” These problems had students working with numbers in the millions and billions, as well as estimating, rounding, using appropriate units and converting distances. This problem solving was culminated with a major group problem: “How … Continue reading Big Numbers and Sky Science: Grade 6 Math/Science Integration

The Cat Food Problem

-by Val Barnes (Grade 5 Math Teacher) and Kevin Sonico (Math Learning Coach) The Grade 5 students were posed with the task of determining which store, Petland or PetSmart, gave a better deal on the same brand and same size of cat food (Figure 1). Before proceeding with their solutions, students must hypothesize through estimation and rounding which of the two would be the better deal. Students then worked in groups to solve this problem. Each group was also assigned a Grade 8 student who facilitated the discussion. The facilitators’ responsibilities did not include providing hints or strategies, rather to … Continue reading The Cat Food Problem

Thinking and Acting like Mathematicians

-by Candice Shaw, Grade 6 Math/Science Since my beginning year of teaching, my science program has focused on having students think and act like scientists. Often, the year has begun with discussions and research about: What do scientists do? What types of characteristics do scientists possess? What processes do scientists follow in order to arrive at strong conclusions? Scientific skills and concepts are reinforced throughout the year, especially during student-led projects, such as science fair. But then I began to wonder, what about math? Why haven’t I focused on having students think and act like mathematicians? Don’t mathematicians possess many … Continue reading Thinking and Acting like Mathematicians

Using ShowMe for Math Communication

-by Lisa Nelson, Grade 7 Math/Science Communication is an important part of mathematics. As a math team in our school, along with others involved with mathematical education, we have discussed what Strong Work in Math looks like. We discussed many different components including Mathematical Inquiry, Demonstration of Knowledge, and Work Habits. One component of this discussion was Mathematical Communication. Students are strong mathematical communicators if they can a) Show their work using writing, charts, diagrams, etcb) Use appropriate mathematical terminology and notationc) Organize complex ideasd) Use metacognition to help explain the process they undergo during problem solving. Weekly, I present … Continue reading Using ShowMe for Math Communication