Wednesday, October 3, 2012

But That's Not Math....

Here in the Bair's Den we try to get a lot of bang for our buck each day, and today was no exception. All of the sudden, during our Social Studies lesson on using latitude and longitude to find location, somebody said, "Wait - why are we doing math during Social Studies???" That's a really good question because many times we really break up our day into the different subjects, and it can be hard to see how everything is connected in real life.

We spent some time talking about this, and the class realized that many of the things we do every day involve more than one subject. Just take a trip to the grocery store. You have to read the labels to find the things you want, think about your health to make good food choices, and use math to make sure you're not spending too much money. Three subjects in just one trip! And if you count the list you have to write or type so you don't forget everything - that's four!!

Just this week we have been doing a lot of that combining to get the most out of our time. We've been working on number lines, adding, subtracting, skip counting and place value while we are learning how to use latitude and longitude. In science, we're learning that scientists have to be able to write about what they've done and learned so that others can try to redo their experiments. And we also combined reading, art and community building to create projects to go along with the story Big Al by Andrew Clemens.

Big Al is a big, ugly fish who really wants friends, but he doesn't have any. Finally, after trying many, many times, Big Al is able to save the day and have many new friends. To help us understand the author's purpose (to teach us an important lesson) we used visualization and teamwork to create our own scenes from the story. We then used our scenes and the plot map we made to summarize the story and make connections. Check out the pictures below to see our teams in action. We'll add pictures of the final products when we hang them up for display.

So even though we talk about math, social studies, science and communication arts, we're starting to realize that many times we're doing all of those subjects together to help us learn.

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