Wednesday, March 17, 2010

i rocked out interdisciplinary studies

today i walked into school at 7:58 am with little idea of what i was going to be doing. we're learning inequalities and my kids are already good at solving multi-step ones so i couldn't exactly give them a whole period of practice.

i was reading about some of the best roller coasters in the world last night, and in a split second, a fantastic idea came to me.

i grabbed a few tape measures out of my closet and borrowed my neighbor's yard stick and proceeded to tell my class about an amazingly fast, tall, and intense ride called the "extreme horror coaster" in japan. of course i made up the name and pretty much all the details.

my kids were totally hooked, either they wanted to learn more and were listening intently, or they were horrified and completely silent while they took in the details.

little did i know this would be an awesome lesson which reviewed not only math with them, but some global studies, literacy, and biology as well.

i told them that because of the intensity of the horror coaster, riders had to be at least 66" tall. I armed them with measuring equipment and told them to determine whether they would be allowed on.

while they were measuring away (which is a skill they really needed the practice in) a colleague of mine happened to stop in to see what we were doing. when i told her, she mentioned he pingping, the shortest man in the world who recently passed away. she said she even had some copies of an article about him and she got them for me.

after they measured, came to conclusions, and drew up some inequalities, i handed out the article. we read and discussed it briefly. it even had a picture of both the shortest and tallest men together.

the class, who is currently in living environment, made the connection to the endocrine system and hormonal defects that cause dwarfism and gigantism!!!

then we came up with a ride that only pingping could go on (the choo choo train) and made an inequality for it.

then we decided the bumper cars would exclude both pingping and the tallest man for safety and comfort reasons and learned how to build a compound inequality with this information.

i'm getting observed tomorrow, and i want to come up with a good idea on how to continue with our amusement park inequalities (and perhaps some candy game,) preferably BEFORE i get into school to teach my first class tomorrow!

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