14 November 2000

Notes prepared by Earl Zwicker

**
Angie Morris (Burnham School)**

presented us with the "Elevator Problem." (handout) The problem can be
presented at many different levels and with various
approaches. She treated us as she might 8th graders, by
giving us the following problem:

She was then on the second floor. Where did she get on?"

Make sure we understand the problem (read it aloud; have students read it aloud; discuss)

Compare and discuss (students see the variety of solutions available)

Sum up by teacher (review)

Have students write down what they have learned

Extension - What if Suzie got off on a different floor? - How does this affect the answer?

**Rae Lynn Schneider (Williams School)**

involved us in an activity usable in a range of primary grades:
Learning to Cut. Handout:

**Fiskars™ Inc**, c/o Education Dept. T&T

7811 W Stewart Ave

Wausau, WI 54401

(715) 842-2091

**Rae** saw that we each got a piece of colorful
poster paper (12" x 18") and a pair of ** Fiskars™ ** scissors,
which had colorful, plastic-coated handles. They cost
$1.50 - $2.50, depending on where you buy them. (After we
had been busy cutting awhile, she passed around a "fake"
look-alike pair costing much less; but it cut very
poorly.) Rae had us fold the paper, and then cut a large
square using folds as guide. Then she modeled for us what
to do. Cut a circle out of the square. (Her technique was
good and practiced, and the circle appeared to be nearly
perfect!) Following her example, most of us did fairly
well also. Then she cut into the edge of the circle at a
small angle, and spiraled the cut around and around
toward the center. This generated a dandy spiral which
behaved like a paper spring! When allowed to collapse on
the table, it again appeared as a circle. The handout was
detailed and complete, including safety, beginners, how to
select a good pair of scissors (without naming **Fiskars****™ **!),
developing cutting activities (scribbling, cut a line, cut
to a target, cut curves, cut and change directions, cut
different shapes). Advanced cutters dealt with many
topics, including different materials: wax paper, aluminum
foil, felt, fabric, etc. A great way for students to
develop hand skills, and to become creative. Thanks, Rae!
She made us into a bunch of "cut-ups!"

**Chandra Price (Burnham School)**

involved us first in an interesting number "tricks." One of them was: Pick any
three digit number with the first and last digits
differing by at least two. Reverse the order of the
digits. Subtract the smaller number from the larger to get
the difference. Now reverse the order of the digits in
the difference. Add these two numbers (the difference and
its reversed digits). What do you get? (1089) Try it again
with another three digit number to see if you get the same
result. Neat! You had to be there to get still another
number trick - both were handouts from **Chandra**.

**Chandra** next gave us handouts about the flora
and fauna of Hawaii. "What kinds of animals are found in
different part of Hawaii?" was her question to us. She
gave us four pages showing diagrams of the various
creatures, and maps showing Average Rainfall, Hawaiian
Ecological Zones, and a page with an outline describing
how to investigate Bird Adaptation. On the table for all
to see, she had many transparent blue plastic cups partly
filled with various bird foodstuff (actually some raisins,
seeds, etc), and some styrofoam cups partly filled with
water. In our group, one of us received a wooden fork,
another a clothespin, and another a straw. These tools
represented various shaped bird beaks. And then each of us
had to use their "beak" to pick out some of the "food,"
and to "drink" some of the water. We learned how
specialized beaks can be! See http://www.jason.org to learn more
about the Jason Project. As usual, ** Chandra** gave us much to
learn and think about.

**Rita Ford (Altgeld Elementary - Special Ed)**

works with intermediate and primary children. We each
received a plastic bag containing colorful construction
paper, a film can (black, opaque), and a page of
instructions describing how to make a "pop up rocket." **
Rita** does not lecture - it doesn't work. She goes over
certain terms via questions: What are rockets? Where do
they go? For what are they used? Gravity: Students jump
up, but gravity pulls them down. Gravity pulls you down on
the scales so it reads your weight, which is how hard the
force of gravity is pulling down on you. Then she gets
students working in small groups to make a rocket. Eye
protection is a must! (Make the body of the rocket by
wrapping the construction paper around the film can to
form a cylinder. Form a conical nose cone and tape it on,
along with fins. Add baking soda and a little vinegar to
the can and quickly cap it and stand on the ground - and **
POP!!** - it jumps up into the air. (Always done outdoors with
students.) We made some and had fun seeing whose rocket
went highest. Why did it? What factors control this? And
students investigate to find answers. A great way to
learn, **Rita**! Thanks!

**Tanisha Kwaaning (Pullman School, 4th & 5th Grade split)**

gave us a handout describing ** Act It Out, Draw
It Out**. It is a way to learn strategies for solving word
problems. Another page contained 8 examples of word
problems to practice on with groups of students. But she
models it first so they have an idea how it might work,
and that is what she did with us: A parking lot with
spaces numbered 1 - 16 is full. All of the cars in the
even numbered spaces leave. Then every third car of those
remaining leaves. And finally, half the remaining cars
leave. How many cars remain in the parking lot?

So - ** Tanisha ** had 16 of us line up in front. Then
they counted off 1 through 16. Then she had the even
numbered people take their seats. Then every third person
took her/his seat. And then half the remaining people take
their seats. And we simply counted the number remaining to
get the answer! Great! One could also draw successive
pictures to show the process, and arrive at an answer as
well, which is best done after the modeling exercise.

She told us that it works at all grade levels,
and students really get involved and learn. Wonderful
ideas, **Tanisha**!

**Jeanine Frazier (Pullman School, 3rd grade)**

(handout - Number Sense) used charts with 4 columns:
thousands, hundreds, tens, ones (place value charts) - and
rubber-banded groups of ten popsicle sticks - to teach us
double digit subtraction. She wrote on the board:

minuend addend subtrahend addend difference sumThen she had us work through the specific example

54 -35using 5 groups of ten sticks in the tens column, and 4 single sticks in the ones column. We could not take away 5 sticks from 4 sticks, so we regrouped and renamed (borrowed - but the preferred terms now are regroup and rename). i.e.. We took a group of ten sticks from the tens column and and put it in the ones column (regrouped). Then we broke it apart into single sticks in the ones column - (renamed), giving us 14 sticks in the ones column. Now we could subtract the 5 sticks from the 14 sticks, leaving us with 9 sticks in the ones column, and 4 groups of ten sticks in the tens column. The result was the difference represented by those sticks: 49 Beautiful!

__
PS__ - ** Virgina O'Brien (Higgins School)**

completed her birdhouse with guidance from ** Lee Slick (Morgan Park HS)**.
It was really spectacular! Now she will be able to
tell us her experiences feeding birds this winter.

Notes taken by ** Earl Zwicker**

**
Jannyce Omueti (Cook School - counselor)**

subjected us to a handout on Chaotic Computing. (AIMS
Education Foundation 1987) http://ww.aimsedu.org/
This brought home the effect of
distractions on study habits. For example, little
brothers/sisters making noise is a distraction. The TV set
is a distraction. In order to test this hypothesis, we
worked in groups. The handout provided ** Table 1 ** and ** Table 2**
and a long list of numbers. Each table had four headings:

**Time Begun Time
Finished Time Taken
Number Correct**

We had to do 20 additions and subtractions of numbers with
no distractions, and find how long it took and number
correct. This was then repeated with a different set of 20
additions and subtractions, but a partner provided
distraction by reading from the list of numbers as we
worked. We saw that the time to complete the work
increased by half (from 2 minutes to 3 minutes), while
number correct was about the same. This varied from person
to person, but the conclusion was clear: distraction makes
a big difference! This was a most interesting experiment
for us to do. Thanks, **Jannyce**!

**Bernadette Dvorscak (Williams & St James Schools)
**had us cut out rectangles from "grid paper" to do
multiplication by rectangles. Associated with each
rectangle was an area, so that a rectangle which was
1 ´ 1 had an area of 1,
a rectangle 1 ´ 2 had an area of 2, etc.
Our results:

area | rectangles | area | rectangles |

1 | 1 ´ 1 | 6 | 1 ´ 6 , 2 ´ 3 |

2 | 1 ´ 2 | 7 | 1 ´ 7 |

3 | 1 ´ 3 | 8 | 1 ´ 8 , 2 ´ 4 |

4 | 1 ´ 4 , 2 ´ 2 | 9 | 1 ´ 9 , 3 ´ 3 |

5 | 1 ´ 5 | 10 | 1 ´ 10 , 2 ´ 5 |

... | ... | ... | ... |

20 | 1 ´20 , 2 ´ 10 , 4 ´ 5 |

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 6 , _ 6 , _ 4 , etc. The result was a multiplication table: 1 2 3 4 5 6 2 4 6 8 10 12 3 6 9 12 15 18 4 8 12 16 20 24 5 etc.Cool,

**
John Scavo (Evergreen Park HS)**

gave us a handout: ** How Long Do Batteries Last?** It listed Equipment,
Hypothesis 1, Hypothesis 2, Procedure, and a table to
enter values for the variables: battery name, cost,
weight, time. Which battery lasted longest? (**Duracel™ , Energizer™, Panasonic™ **)
Which proved the best value?
Matching pairs of batteries are placed in identical
flashlights, which are turned on at the same time. When
the batteries begin to fail, the time is recorded. Graphs
of time vs mass and time vs cost are made. A dandy way for
students to learn both the practice of science and how
batteries compare. ** John** also gave us copies of articles on
Helicobacter pylori (a primary cause of ulcers), ocean
warming, discovery of a planet orbiting Epsilon Eridani.
All interesting stuff, J**ohn**!

**
Therese Donatello (St Edwards)**

shared a game which illustrates energy concepts. Handouts:

Good for all ages, little preparation and takes about 20 minutes each. Gets audience moving, looking, thinking and acting. Breaks audience into several smaller groups. Mixes audience randomly or by ages, as desired. Includes list/diagrams of energy sources and users. Requires paper and pencils. Gives rules for playing. Builds ideas of what energy is and how it is generated and used. Thanks,Energy Source, Relay Race, and Energy Pantomime(1998)

The Need Project

http://www.need.org/

102 Elden St, Suite 15

Herndon, VA 20170

Tel: (703) 471-6263

**
Marva Anyanwu (Green School)**

did the ** Eye Spy Test ** with us. (handout - a model of a science project)
This illustrates scientific method, and involves making
observations in teams, and distinguishing independent and
dependent variables. We knew we could depend on you, **Marva**!

Notes taken by ** Porter Johnson**.