Author Archives: Kathleen Carr

I am a Grade 4 teacher at Avon Public School in Stratford, Ontario, and a Teacher-Technology coach with the AMDSB.

Build a Tower… Build a Team – The Marshmallow Challenge

The Marshmallow Challenge is an activity that forces people to collaborate, quickly, within a limited time frame to complete a task.  Participants have included CEO’s of Fortune 500 Companies, as well as Kindergarten children.

The premise is simple…. in 18 minutes, with a team of no more than 4 people, use 20 sticks of spaghetti, 1 metre of string, and 1 metre of tape to build the tallest, free-standing structure that will support the weight of a single marshmallow placed on top.

I have posted the link below to the Ted Talk by Tom Wujec on The Marshmallow Challenge, and below that are photos of the Grade 4 students engaged in the task.  They did really well, and we had an interesting conversation afterwards about the nature of teamwork, the challenges of collaboration, and the inherent value of failure that informs next steps.

 

 

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Jump Rope for Heart – Tuesday, May 24th in the Morning

There have been announcements about it every morning for the past week, but I wanted to remind everyone that tomorrow morning the entire school population will be outside, in our Spirit Teams, participating in the annual Jump Rope for Heart event.

Students will rotate through a number of stations, with opportunities for rest in the shade – but tomorrow promises to be hot and sunny – I’d recommend light clothing, running shoes (for all that jumping!), sunscreen, hats and water bottles to keep everyone cool, protected from the sun, and hydrated.

Also – we’ve been asked to wear red to show support for the Heart and Stroke Foundation – break out your Valentine’s Day colours  🙂

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Investigating Area and Perimeter Relationships

Today we worked on a problem – can you build rectangles that have the same area, but different perimeters? Turns out you can – we built rectangles and squares using 36 square tiles – so every shape had an area of 36 square units, but their perimeters were all different. Here’s an example of the students’work, showing the shapes with the same are, but different perimeters:

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Now we know that shapes can have the same area but different perimeter- but we were left wondering this – can 2 shapes have the same perimeter, but a different area?  The were left to ponder this, with the challenge to prove or disprove it.

Here they are at work this morning:

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Capture the Array

Capture the array is a game where 2 players roll an 8-sided die to determine the dimensions of a square or rectangle. For example, if I rolled a 4 and a 9, I would draw an array with base 4 and height 9 – and write in the area (36 square units). Players take turns rolling the dice and drawing their shapes on a 20 x 20 grid. The game is over when one player cannot find a spot to fit his/her shape on the grid – the last player to place a shape on the grid wins.

Those who have mastered their multiplication facts have an advantage, because you are allowed to change the dimensions of your rectangle, as long as the area remains the same. For example, if I couldn’t fit a 4×9 rectangle on the grid, but could find a spot for one that was 3 x 12, or 6×6, I could play it , because the area would still be 36.

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Measure for Measure…

Last week, we explored some ideas about how to estimate and measure things in mm, cm, m and km.  We played a game called “How Close Can You Get?” where we tried to estimate different lengths of twine, and then measured them to see how close we were.  Here are some photos of the students at work and learning:image imageimage image
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