## Saving Energy, One Decimal at a Time

Fourth grade students learned to read electricity meters and convert between watts and kilowatts as part of their unit on working with decimals. They used their knowledge to solve electric mysteries in the Cathy Fosnot unit, The Mystery of the Meter. Now, with the aid of a Kill-a-Watt device, students are investigating the energy usage of the different types of electronics at our school. They are hoping to find a way to cut our energy consumption, helping both our environment and our school's budget. This project will require them to use all of their decimal understandings, as well as graphing techniques and persuasive writing.

Update: The students have finished their PowerPoint, posted below.

Update: The students have finished their PowerPoint, posted below.

power_point_for_school_wattage_of_computers.pptx | |

File Size: | 757 kb |

File Type: | pptx |

## Cooperative Logic
First grade students have learned to use logic and listening in order to solve mathematical riddles. Students were each given a clue to a number puzzle, and all of the clues were needed to find the answer. However, they could not show their clues to anyone else in the group. Instead, students had to listen carefully, practice holding information in their heads, and work together to eliminate choices until one best answer remained. Students used their new "detective" skills as they became code breakers on Renzulli Learning. They worked together to decode a message from me. Can you crack the code?
4,4, 1,3, 2,3, 3,5, 3,5, 3,2,/ 2,4, 4,4,/ 2,1, 5,1, 3,4// (click for the decoded message) On Friday, March 25, 2011, students joined a fourth grade class and were able to Skype with a real codebreaker! Mr. Figueroa spent over seven years in the army working to crack codes and he shared some of his experiences with the group. Thank you so much to Mr. Figueroa for taking time out of his day to talk with our students! To finish out our unit on codes, we went on a treasure hunt around the school. Each location gave us a secret folder with a coded message. The messages turned out to be math word problems, each written using a different type of code. When we solved the problems, the answers led us to the next clue. Finally, we discovered the treasure: granola bars hidden in the office! To try your hand at one first grader's original code, click here. |

## Fairness and Fractions

What would be the best way to share 17 subs among 22 students?

Fourth graders have been wrestling with fractions as fair shares.
Students were presented with a scenario in which students going on a
field trip had been given different amounts of food. They had to use
math to decide whether students had been treated fairly, and, if not,
what would have been a fair way to divide the food prior to the trip. Students created posters to show the methods by which they solved this problem. As mathematicians, they carefully examined their colleagues' work and left comments with sticky notes.

## Fractions and Ratios

Fifth graders have been hard at work applying their fraction knowledge to ratio situations. Students developed ratio tables and devised strategies for adding and subtraction fractions in order to solve problems from Dr. Cathy Fosnot's "Best Buys" unit. In addition, students explored the concept of ratio using Lure of the Labyrinth, an interactive game designed by MIT for use with middle school pre-algebra students.