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Monday, April 25, 2016

Naturalist Math

We're heading into our naturalist weeks of study and I'm wondering how we'll combine that with math teaching/learning. I'll think more on this in the days ahead, but for starters I have a few thoughts. Let me know what you would add.

First of all to prepare for raising our Eastern spadefoot toad tadpoles, we'll learn the material as we study and practice problem solving steps and information related to the 5th grade math curriculum. When we practice computation, we'll use data and facts from science MCAS practice. That's a good start.

Further as we watch the spadefoots develop, we'll measure and weigh them which will help us to practice measurement skill and estimation.

Later we'll study maps as we get ready for our exploration in our local habitat and Great Meadows. We'll likely use math to calculate miles and plan time well. We may measure what we find too.

To become naturalists we'll study animal scat models. We may measure and make some proportional connections between scat size/shape and animal size. Then when we're out in the "wild" we'll look for evidence including scat of animals that live in the region.

The new magnifying lenses will give us a chance to discuss the proportion with which an object is magnified and will give us a chance to study the details of objects well too.

I'm sure we'll come up with more ways to integrate math and nature study. Again, if you have ideas, let me know.