January 27, 2010

Boys Balancing Bears

Trying to come up with constructive way for the boys to use the colorful objects from our math shelf (what used to be the math box) isn't so easy. I want them to keep really wanting to play with those things and feeling like school is cool, but I also want them to be making good use of their play time with practical learning activities.

This weeks math shelf obsession? The balance. They started using the balance s a prop for their story problem. "Dis bear wanted to play on the balance, and den two of his bear friends joined him." That's how it began. But I think we're ready to take balance play t the next level.

We started by holding two objects of obviously different weight. "Which is heavier?" I asked. Then we put them on the balance. "Did the heavier object go up or down?" Done. We get the concept.

Next I quickly sketched out a worksheet to guide them through a little scientific investigation using the balance. I gave them a tub of teddy bear counters, a tub of linking cubes, and a bag of color tiles. the worksheet I made had two columns. They were instructed to place the object from each column in the balance and circle the one that weighed more. I tricked them right up front by having them weigh two different colored bears, just to clear up any possible ideas that different colors might weigh differently somehow. Once we got that behind us, they were on their own.

Oh, how they had fun. They actually weighed each set of objects, discussed the findings in their little brother language that only they can understand- a sort of symphony of grunting, shrugging, and nodding - and each proceeded to circle the correct picture. Let me just stop right here and say that I have failed to ever have them circle anything prior to this activity, so I wasn't eve sure how that would go, but they did it. I suppose some things don't have to be taught.

So, hooray for us! We found a fun way to use the balance for it's intended purpose in addition to making it a teddy bear swing! Great math day!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hit me with some comments!!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
© At Home with Momma Skyla. Powered by