Saturday, February 4, 2012

Groundhog Day

We read Groundhog Weather School by Joan Holub. Then we made our own groundhog, Brownie.  The day before Groundhog Day, the students used a math activity to help predict whether the groundhog would see its shadow or not.  Students used dice in dice to create addition problems.  If the sum was even, the students colored that number of blocks in the no shadow side of a graph.  If the sum was odd, they colored that number of blocks on shadow side. We graphed the students' results as a class.  The shadow side won.:(  Students also made an accordion book with information about Groundhog Day.

On Groundhog  Day, we planted Brownie in an open spot in front of the school.  On the way from PE, we checked to see if he saw his shadow.  He did.  We used cubes and measured his shadow at about 9:00.  Brownie's shadow was 45 cubes long.  I asked the students to think about the book we read, and what it said about shadows on the wall in relationship to the distance of a flashlight.  I also showed them where the sun was positioned that morning.  I asked them where the sun would be in the afternoon.  When we returned to the classroom, I gave them a sticky note, told them to write their name, and write whether the shadow would be longer, shorter, or stay the same. Everybody except for one student wrote that the shadow would be longer. One student said the shadow would be the same length.  I read the part about a flashlight and shadows on the wall again. I then asked if anyone wanted to change their answer.  Nope.


After lunch, we visited Brownie again.  Not only was the shadow SHORTER, it had changed positions.  The shadow now measured 18 cubes long.  Wow!!!  I guess I should've demonstrated instead of just showing the pictures in the book.
Classmates prompted this student to take some cubes away, to make it even with the shadow.

To be honest, six more weeks of the spring-like weather that we've been having is okay with me.  I just hope our tulip garden project will survive if the temperatures drop.

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