Key words: Instructional Strategies, Math, K-6
Here's one suggestion for a math activity which would involve all of your students (K - 5) and require a means of incorporating math with science, communication, group interaction and the world around them.
You can develop a daily Weather Report. You can assign different jobs to different students or groups of students depending upon their ages and abilities. The following are some examples of the jobs.
For some of the children able to read, etc. have them find the weather forecast for your specific area on a daily basis, and keep records of the daily temperature, sunrise/sunset, winds, etc. anything with numbers Then, have them graph out the numbers to see how temperature, sunrise/ sunset, etc. changes on a daily, weekly and over the entire summer basis. If they are able, then they can calculate averages per week, and per the entire summer session. This can be fun, esp. when incorporated into the entire group program.
For those not at the above level, they can merely learn to measure the temperature in or around your classroom. Then, they can learn to do the math to calculate how much the daily temperature readings differ from the forecasted readings. For example, the above group finds that the forecast for temperature is a low of 50 degrees and a high of 85. This group measures the temperature on the thermometer as being 70 degrees, and has to calculate and report how this differs from the predicted high and low for the day. (In this case, 20 degrees above the low and 15 degrees below the high.) If they do this twice a day, they can see how the temperature has moved, say, closer to the predicted high from am to pm. Also, they can see how far from the predictions the real termperature gets.
For the young ones, they can illustrate the weather predictions each day demonstrating an understanding of what each temperature is like. For them, the simple math aspect is to relate the days and the temperature weather conditions for each day. Then, they can learn to summate or give a cumulative summary at the end of each week stating the number of days that week it was sunny, the number of days it rained, the number of days it was cloudy, etc. or the number of days the temperature was in a certain range (say in the 60's or in the 70's). [I'd go for the first way - by weather type - rather than temperature.]
Once each group has accumulated their data for the day, week, etc., you could have a different representative from each group report on the daily and weekly findings (the weekly is the cumulative - so, on Monday there is none, but with each additional day, you add the day before). The students could make their weather presentations to the class or to another class. You could also have them make up a "Weather Station" on a bulletin board and present their data, etc., in some nice way to the school or the class. This weather station could present the pictures drawn by group three with the data of groups 1 and 2 and the graphs of group 1.
I hope this helps, and the idea works, if you use it. It can be a lot of fun, and ties in a lot of different aspects of life and education with math and measurement.
If you have any other questions about this project, let me know. But, from experience with a 2nd grade class, and a group of middle school kids, it works ! ! !
Dr. J! @ St. John's
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Uploaded by: Melissa Close/Kent State University/Deaf Education Major