Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Fishy Fun in Math

 My husband told me last night he hasn't seen me for two days - this is true because I have been tied to the computer trying to keep up with sixteen 8 year-old bloggers! Right now (because presumably my class have finally gone to bed!) I have a few minutes to post on my own blog!

I have officially decided that I love teaching Maths in small groups - it's the best way to really get a handle on what the kids know. Yesterday we did center work and today, while I reviewed 2-digit x 1-digit multiplication in small groups, the rest of the class worked on team projects.

Their project was to purchase the equipment, supplies and fish for a 20-gallon aquarium and boy, did they love it! They had a supply list of filters (several types) 2 kinds of gravel, ornaments and weeds for the tank, fish food and, of course, a catalogue of fish to choose from. They had $130 to spend and had to work collaboratively.

Conversations centered around whether it was worth buying a really silent filter system for $100 when the fish wouldn't mind if their tank was noisy and they could get a filter for $79 instead. There was heated debate on whether guppies, goldfish or tetras were the best fish to get and whether the fish would prefer a castle or a cave to swim in! I loved listening to them!

They added and subtracted and budgeted and finally came up with the ultimate aquarium design. Then they took all their information, including the colored design of their aquarium, and put it on a poster. (A lot of time went into naming the fish in the aquarium and decorating the poster appropriately!)

One team managed to spend all their money exactly and one team designed the Ultimate Spartan Fish Tank (my words) and had quite a lot of change! At the end everyone wandered around and commented on each other's choices. It was a great project and as soon as the final decorations are applied I will have a really neat bulletin board for the corridor. :)

(N.B: This project is available as part of a bundled set of four open-ended projects here or as part of Problems with Pets (available here)

1 comment:

  1. Hey there! I love teaching math in groups too, but my poor organization has me scrambling some times! If you get a chance--check your email. I'd love to send you something for your opinion! :)