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 addendThen she had us work through the specific example

subtrahend addend

difference sum

54using 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!

-35

__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 |

_ _Cool,

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

_ _ 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.

**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**.