Monthly Archives: October 2014

Investigation in Volume

Parents, this post is meant for all of our valued fans, but it is especially meant for you so that related conversations/investigations can continue at home.

Last week we continued our Shape & Space investigations with a simple (seemingly) question.

What can be measured?

Enthusiastic conversation ensued, and a common response was “A table” or “A book” or “A car.” Students eventually agreed that you can’t measure a table…but you can measure a table’s height, its length, its weight, etc. At some point one or two students offered “how much liquid is in a container” which led to a discussion of volume and capacity. The concepts of mass and weight came up, and since nobody knew the difference, Thea figured it out, offering the class a scenario of one’s weight and density on Earth, compared to one’s weight and density on the moon. 🙂

We then began investigating volume more closely, along with a review of area concepts. Today, in the hopes that students could visualize size/space relationships, we built a cubic meter. How many students could fit in one? Two? What would two cubic meters look like? Three? And finally, I offered the following conjecture:

If you double the dimensions of a solid, the volume will double.

The images below are from the students’ attempts to prove or disprove that conjecture, as well as our initial cube constructions. At no point did we devise a formula for volume, though I could see that a few students were starting to make the connection.

Parents, at home, throw out a challenge at the dinner table. What is the area of this room? What is the volume? Can you find an object in the house that is one cubic meter? Can you prove that it’s one cubic meter? Does it actually have to be a cube?

Andrew’s iTime Project (and we’ll sneak in some orthography)

We learn something every day. Prompted by Andrew’s Latin lesson on the meaning of ‘lego,’ I checked out Etymonline’s entry, just as Andrew had while researching for his project. (He’s not the first to include an orthographic section in his iTime presentation.)

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 17.38.32

Lucky coincidence that ‘lego’ means “I put together” in Latin? Or did good old Ole actually know what he was doing? Fun…

Thea and Maya’s iTime: Pizza!

The girls shared their passion for pizza today…as well as actual pizza! Not easy navigating the faculty lounge kitchen, cooking, organizing the feeding of 20 classmates, or presenting when a last minute technical glitch throws off one’s presentation. Stress! And all part of the learning. We still love mistakes…and NOT just spelling or math mistakes.

Karl’s iTime: Soccer!

Lots of fun with this one today. But poor Karl, who put on a brave (though slightly grey) face for his presentation, had to actually leave the field at one point. He came back to finish strong, providing his classmates with a fun memory. As the fastest cross country runner in our school, he was also chosen to run in the Middle School’s Turkey Trot today. Bad timing on the cold! No problem…he’ll compete with the best next year when he joins the middle school.

Noah’s Sword!

When I first mentioned iTime projects back in the first or second week of school, Noah already knew what he wanted to do. Something with weapons. Specifically, making an actual sword. I was skeptical…and maybe a little worried. No…a lot worried.

But Noah proved me wrong!

The sword production was impressive enough, but I was most pleased with his video. We talk about “action” a LOT at this school, but genuine action – the kind where kids choose to act rather than simply comply with expectations – is more rare than we’d like to admit. For our “How We Express Ourselves” unit, we focused on digital storytelling. The students had to make movies, then learn about techniques, then revise their movies. Emphasis on had.  Noah didn’t have to make this movie. That’s action…actually using what he’s learned to make a change, to inspire, to inform. Here’s Noah’s presentation, followed by his movie.