Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Math or Science?

Today's math class combined math and science.

The lesson started with examining an amaryllis bulb.  We looked at the bulb and discovered it had a thin papery layer or "skin" and the bulb looked similar to an onion.  It had roots on one end and layers at the other that the children thought leaves would grow out of.  All the class knew that the roots should go in the dirt.  They shared their knowledge about why a plant has roots: to help it stand up, and to transport water and nutrients to the plant.

Next, we read the planting directions.  The pot needed to be filled  2/3 full with dirt.  This lead to a discussion of fractions and what the  bottom number (denominator) and top number (numerator) represent.
After we got the pot 2/3 filled with dirt, we had to figure out how deep to put the bulb: 1/3 of the bulb had to be above the dirt.  For the first introduction to fractions, the children were off to a great start.  There will need to be a lot more practice with fractions before there will be fluency but we are well on our  way.

Now that the bulb is planted, we will have to be patient.  It take 2-4 weeks for the stem to start to emerge.  Then the measuring will begin.  With a vote of  6 to 2, it was determined we would use centimeters vs inches to measure the plant's growth.   Once it starts to grow, the children will measure the growth of the amaryllis and record their findings on a chart.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

This is so wonderful! I love the way you incorporate math into beautiful activities of daily life. It makes math seem so obvious instead of intimidating as it is to some children. I am grateful that Arwyn has you as her first school teacher. I know that you will remain a warm spot in her memory long after she has graduated from school and embarked on her life adventures...