Friday, February 8, 2013

Beautiful, almost jewel-like

Friday already.

We are between centers today so I inserted a science/math lesson that's easy to do with a whole group of kindergartners at once.

In kindergarten math we introduce the coins: penny, nickel, dime, quarter.

For most five and six year olds, the idea of a dime being worth 10 pennies is completely ridiculous. Sure, I know, from the adult perspective it seems simple enough, but the more I think about it the more I see it from the child's point of view. A dime is smaller, thinner, and lighter than a penny.

The idea that a small, thin, light coin could be worth ten coins that are larger just doesn't seem right. Which would you rather have, standing by a fountain in a plaza in Rome, ten pennies, or a dime?

So I did not make too big a deal about the abstract exchange values of dimes & pennies (a concept that will go right over the heads of more than half the class).

I decided instead to give them something interesting to do with dimes.

Our task was to answer this question: How many drops of water can be dropped on a dime without spilling off the edge? What do you think? Three? Five? Write down your guess before reading on. A little later on in the post you'll see the results of our investigation this morning.


We began the day by looking at some of the pages in Noah's sharing book which we didn't have time to read yesterday. Here's Noah looking at one of his favorite pages. (Aside: Sometimes, when paddling on Great White Shark inhabited waters, a similar image appears in my mind. All part of the thrill, I guess. Luckily, in real life I've never seen sharks bigger than 4' leopard sharks from the cockpit of my kayak.)

Mrs. Campbell invited fourth graders to help her give one-on-one practice with ball handling skills. It was fun for the fourth graders and very helpful for the kindergartners.

First they warmed up with one-on-one help with jumping jacks:

Then they got out the light, soft, almost balloon-like balls that take all the sting out of missing a catch.

Back to the dimes activity, I demonstrated how to use eyedroppers to drop water on the dimes.

We began with an introduction and a demonstration. Some students had never used an eyedropper before.

 By moving close to the demonstration, they could see how to squeeze the bulb on the eyedropper and how to place the drops near the center of the dime.

 Surface tension holds the water in a beautiful domed shape. From edge on, the water is plump and beautiful, almost jewel-like.

 When I finished my demonstration, the students each repeated the experiment in the table groups and then recorded their results on a post-it note sticking their note on the easel.

 We organized our data by rearranging the post-it notes in numerical order.

The mean was 14.7 and the mode was 17. That's more than you might imagine a dime would hold.

Finally, as we prepare for the Pasta Feed on March 2, I need to find a parent/family member who would like to color in this poster for our part of the show.

If you like to color, say so in the comment section. You will get to keep the poster at the end of the show as a souvenir.

First comment up on this blog is the winner. To be eligible, you must have a kindergartner in the current class.

You must have a kinder in this current class.
First respondent in comment section is the winner. 


Katrina Hupfeld said...

I don't think my first response worked, so I would love to color this. Is crayon okay?

Katrina Hupfeld

Dan Gurney said...

Katrina, it is yours. Crayon is fine. Whatever you want to use--crayon, marker, paint or other method is fine. You choose.