Math (making sense out of the world using numbers) is truly everywhere. But it can take some practice to start to see it.
Today the Herons read an article about the Buffalo snow storm and then I asked them to work with a partner to write two questions about the math in the situation.
At first, it seemed difficult to many. There were no obvious "you have five apples and get three more apples" type of sentences. But as a few ideas were shared, more students began to discover questions they had. After five mintues we got together to share the questions - we coded them with a star if we could figure out an exact answer from the information in the article and an "o" for open if we would need to do more research or make assumptions to find a solution:
* At this rate, how much snow would fall in a week? a year?
o How much water would all of this snow make if it melted?
o How long would a line of 562 snow plows be?
* How fast did the snow fall per hour?
o What's the record all time snow fall for any place? For Buffalo?
o How much water evaporates from Lake Erie in a day?
o How many miles can a snowplow plow in an hour?
* What's the volume of snow that falls on the average roof?
This is just a partial list of questions but the kids were amazed with all of the different directions they could explore. I shared a story of finding a similar wealth of things to think about when I was reading the cereal box in the morning -- just how many bowls of cereal would I have to eat to meet my daily requirement for potassium?
This blog entry obviously dovetails with the previous one on Fermi math. "Headline Math" as we called the lesson is another great way to explore numeracy at home.