Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Maricopa, Arizona, USA

Mrs. Gomez’ 8th Grade, 5th Hour Pre-Algebra Class
When I caught up with the class on Wednesday, September 26th, they had already been working with several days worth of sun movement measurements.When I met up with them outside their classroom, at the start of 5th hour, students were already aligning and stabilizing meter sticks that would be used as one of their tools. Underneath the sticks, they had first set down butcher paper. The stick cast the sun's shadow on the paper and the small teams were directed by the teacher to take new measurements every 2 minutes for 10 minutes. This was the data collection phase.
Along with this and several other days of data the students are developing mathematical and statistical ways to analyze and interpret their data - to make it meaningful. The collaborative portion of this project derives from the publishing and evaluation of many class findings. The students in Mrs. Gomez's class were viewing data submitted by students in other countries, far flung geographic locations, who are conducting the same project NOW!

Students will now work to calculate the circumference of the Earth, prepared with a good understanding of mathematics, the measurements of their simple tools and methods, and factoring in data published from a worldwide host of contributors ! They viewed data and pictures from Australia, Philippines, France and more!

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