Sunday, March 14, 2010

March 15 Problem of the Day

Amazon River
Katie, who loves to swim, was reading about how dangerous it is to swim in the Amazon River. The Amazon River is home to snakes, eels, alligators, and attacking piranha. Katie's teacher saw what she was reading and asked Katie, "What river contains about the same volume of water as the Mississippi, the Yangtze, and the Nile rivers combined?"
Katie's teacher told her that it is the Amazon River. The Amazon is the biggest river in the world and has a drainage area of 2,722,000 square miles.
If the Mississippi River had a drainage area that was exactly one-third the drainage area of the Amazon River, what would be the Mississippi's drainage area to the nearest tenth of a square mile?
Hint: Break 2,722,000 into 3 equal parts to get the answer. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March 10 Problem of the Day

Submarine Dream

When his class was studying World War II, Fred volunteered to research the early history of the submarine. Fred was surprised to learn that the submarine had a rather lengthy history.

William Bourne, a British mathematician, drew up a design for a submarine in 1578. In the early 1600’s, Cornelius van Drebbel used Bourne's plans to build a submergible boat which traveled for short distances under the Thames River. This craft was built out of wood and covered with tightly wrapped sheets of waterproofed leather. It was propelled by oars that extended through its sides.

The first submarine-like boat to be used during wartime was David Bushnell's "Turtle". The Turtle was a one-man wooden barrel-like boat that was powered by hand-turned propellers. It was used during the American Revolution to plant bombs on the hulls of British ships. Although the Turtle was functional as a submarine, the bombs it planted were ineffective.

In 1800, Robert Fulton built the "Nautilus", a military submarine. This submarine was built with copper sheets over steel ribs and hand-powered propellers. It employed tanks that were filled with water to submerge and a horizontal rudder for steering.

It took the Nautilus 2 minutes to submerge. Once submerged, it could travel forward at a speed of 2 miles per hour. The Nautilus held enough oxygen to remain submerged for 17 minutes. Calculate how far the Nautilus could travel forward before its oxygen was exhausted?

March 10 Learning Summary

In fractions the last few days, we learned that higher number are actually lower.  People think 1/16 is more than 1/8 because 16 is bigger than 8, but they're surprised when they learn it is the other way around. If you are comparing something has 16 equal pieces or something that has 8 equal pieces, one of the 16 pieces is smaller than one of the 8 pieces.

Here is an example using this cake. The number 4 is bigger than the number 2, but when it is a fraction, a larger number actually means a smaller piece. 1/2 of this cake is twice as big as 1/4 of this cake! What do you think 1/8 of the cake would look like?

In multiplication, we learned how to use repeated addition to help solve problems.
2 x 3 is the same thing as 3 + 3 and 4 x 5 is the same as 5 + 5 + 5 + 5. We also learned that you can break up one number in multiplication to help make problems easier to solve. Let's say you don't know 4 x 9 yet. You can break up the 4 and do 2 x 9 plus 2 x 9 to get the answer. We still need to learn our basic multiplication facts, but this is a strategy we can use when we get to bigger numbers or for basic facts we don't know yet.

During writing we found out about the PBS Kids Go! contest. Now we're all hoping to write a fabulous story that will help us win a laptop or camera or mp3 player.  "I'm so excited for itto come! My mom always does her book work on the computer and if I win the laptop, I can play Madden on my laptop while she does her work."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March 9 Problem of the Day

Road Trip!

Jill and her family toured the United States by car during their vacation. From their home, they drove 2,452 miles west to Los Angeles. From Los Angeles they drove 857 miles east to Denver. From Denver, they drove 1,212 miles southeast to New Orleans. From New Orleans, they drove northeast 1,427 miles to New York City. From New York City, they drove southwest 842 miles back to their home.

They traveled many back roads and saw wonderful sites. The trip took eleven weeks to complete. Their car’s odometer read 11,234 miles before the trip began.
How many miles did their odometer have on it when Jill's family completed the eleven-week journey?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Problem of the Day

Here is today's Problem of the Day, brought to you from MathMastery Daily Brains:

Solar Eclipse A solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves between the sun and the earth and casts a shadow over part of the earth. It is called a total solar eclipse when the moon's shadow completely blocks out the sun. During a total eclipse, you can see a ring of gas around the sun. The ring of gas is referred to as a halo and is called the corona.

The first total solar eclipse of the decade took place on June 21, 2001. It was visible over the Atlantic Ocean, Africa and Madagascar. The next total solar eclipse took place in 2002 and the closest one after that will be in 2017. The total solar eclipse that took place in 2002 was on December 4 and was visible in southern Africa, over the Indian Ocean, and in Australia. The eclipse that takes place on August 21, 2017 will be visible from Oregon to South Carolina. (We might get to see it here in Bellingham!)

Exactly how much time (years/months/days) will there be between the two total solar eclipses in 2002 and 2017?  Answer in the Comments section of today's posting. Be sure to explain how you got your answer.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

More Pictures From Seattle

Hey Room 12ers!

Pick your favorite picture or two. In the Comment section, describe the picture and tell 2 or 3 reasons why it is your favorite.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Beautiful Sunrise

Happy Friday Everyone! Enjoy these photos of the gorgeous, colorful sunrise this morning. Don't forget, I won't be in class Monday. I will be in Olympia talk to the State Legislature about education funding. Be sure to check the Blog to find out what happens!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mr. Pahl Is In Seattle!

Hi everyone,

I hope you had a great day with Mrs. B. today. Here are some pictures from my trip. Have a nice Friday and a fun weekend!

Mr. Pahl

I am in Seattle for the 2010 Northwest Council for Computer Education Conference at the Convention Center in Seattle. It is so much fun! I can't wait to show you the latest thing I learned about Google Earth. You are going to love it!

The Convention Center is beautiful. How cool is this?

Look who I found. It's Mr. Luke! He's here along with Mrs. Ackerson, Mrs. Fullner, and Mrs Richardson.

There are HUNDREDS of teachers here from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho who want to learn more about using computers and technology in the classroom so that learning is more fun and exciting for students like YOU.

This is a great view from the Convention Center looking west toward the water.

Since we just finished studying Geometry, I thought you might like to see this picture of the inside of part of the Convention Center. Look at all these quadrilaterals!

I miss you all very much. Please leave me a short note telling me something you learned this week. Click on the word "comments" below. Then from the drop down box, choose "Anonymous." At the end of your note, write your pseudonym (your Spelling City name) and click on "Post Comment."

Be Good Humans.

Mr. Pahl

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March 1-3

We are currently in the middle of a science unit on the properties of water. Our current focus of study is evaporation.

For the current investigation, each group measured 50 ml of water with a syringe and put it in a cup. We placed one cup in the window, one on top of the corner cabinet, one in a desk, and the last cup in one of the cupboards. After 3 days, the groups used a balance to measure the mass of the water in each of the cups from the various locations in the room.

Students observed changes in the amount of water in their cups. Some of the changes were significant; others were minor. This led to a great discussion on the variables of a science experiment. The students learned that temperature, light, and exposure to air are some of the variables that can affect the rate at which water evaporates. We also discussed how human error when conducting an experiment can account for unexpected and unintended differences in outcome.

On Tuesday, Mrs. Tully taught us how to play the ukulele!

"It was harder than I thought. When she played it looked easy. I am looking forward to playing it next time."

"It was much harder than I thought. I thought it was only a small guitar, but it was really hard! I wonder if we are going to learn different notes and more notes to play next time?"