November 6, 2014
by Mrs. Hamman's Class
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Fifth Grade Math Challenge

Question mark sign
Photo Credit: Colin Kinner via Compfight

Tomorrow, our fifth grade class is going to have a video conference with Mr. Lockwood’s students, who go to a school a few miles away from ours. We’ve decided to challenge each other to solve some fraction word problems, since that’s what we’re both working on in math. Our questions for Mr. Lockwood’s class are below. (Any of our other readers are welcome to post their solutions, too; we just won’t publish your solution until after we talk to Mr. Lockwood’s class!)

These questions are modified versions of problems in this great math book: 5th Grade Math Journals.

QUESTION 1:

There are two dozen muffins on a plate. 1/6 of the muffins are chocolate. 7/12 of the muffins are banana. The rest are cinnamon. How many muffins are cinnamon?

QUESTION 2:

Jenny collected 2 5/6 of a bin of newspapers to recycle. Sam collected 3 1/2 times as many newspapers as Jenny.

(a) How many bins of newspapers did Sam collect?

(b) What is the difference between the number of bins Sam collected and the number Jenny collected?

EXTRA CHALLENGE: Can you show the answers to these problems using models or manipulatives?

 

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October 27, 2014
by Mrs. Hamman's Class
26 Comments

Heart of a Hall of Famer

Today our class participated, along with several other schools, in a video conference with Alan Page, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Alan Page was a member of the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears during his playing career. He played in four Super Bowls and was voted the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1971. He was very successful after his playing career, too. He became a lawyer, and since 1992 has served on the Minnesota Supreme Court.

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We were able to ask questions of Justice Page, and we learned a lot about the importance of character. We all took notes during the presentation. Here are some some of the key points we wrote down:

  • It took confidence, mindset, and motivation to play football. He had to be prepared physically, mentally, and emotionally. Preparation is the key to being successful in all areas of life.
  • The six pillars of character are: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. He thinks the most important one is trustworthiness.
  • You have to know how to collaborate with other people to get along in life.
  • He dropped out of law school the first time he enrolled because he thought it was too overwhelming to do all the reading and homework. Later he realized that the work was hard for everyone, and that he needed to persevere to achieve his goals, so he tried law school again and this time he graduated.
  • He has learned that things that are easy are boring!
  • “It’s okay to question the rules, but don’t break them,” said Justice Page.
  • His biggest role models were his parents. They supported him and encouraged him to try his best at whatever he chose to do.
  • He thought of being a judge because he was interested in the law and he used to want to be a lawyer in 4th grade! He remembers reading about the Supreme Court decision that desegregated the schools when he was young and that had a strong influence on him.
  • When he is faced with a hard decision sometimes he goes with his feelings but sometimes he has to think hard about all the possibilities. If you are trying to make a hard choice, first think about what is the right thing to do, then do it, even if it’s hard.
  • He has learned more from the defeats than the victories.
  • “Prepare yourselves to take on world’s problems because you can fix them and you can make our nation a greater place,” said Justice Page.

We thought it was a privilege to talk to someone who was so accomplished and inspiring!

What did you learn about the importance of character?

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October 1, 2014
by Mrs. Hamman
33 Comments

Wonder: Our Favorite Precepts

Wonder

Our class read aloud for first quarter has been the book Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. It’s the kind of book that makes you think, but it also makes you want to keep reading to find out what happens next. We’ll probably be a little sorry when it ends in a few days!

As we’ve been reading we’ve also been learning a lot about literature. We’ve learned about:

  • Point of view: the book is all written in first person, but there are multiple narrators so we get to hear different points of view.
  • Elements of plot: we’re now reading the resolution of the story.
  • Character development: we’ve seen how characters can change and grow through the course of book, while still keeping their major traits.
  • Theme: we’ve discussed how a book can have more than one theme, and how the message, lesson or moral may be different depending on the reader.

In Wonder, the main character has a teacher named Mr. Browne. Every month Mr. Browne introduces a precept, which he defines as “rules about really important things”, or words that help guide the choices people make.  Some of them are famous quotes and others are written by the characters in the book. It’s been interesting for our class to discuss the precepts as they come up in the book.

R.J. Palacio just released a new book called 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne’s PreceptsWe’ve started exploring the precepts in this new book, choosing our favorites and writing some of our own. Some of us made Haiku Decks to show the ones we like the best.


Andrew – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Naomi – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Ciara – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Aiden – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Falicity – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Irlanda – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Adrien – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Our next read aloud will be The Fourteenth Goldfish, by Jennifer Holm. We’re looking forward to connecting with others while we’re reading that one, since it’s one of the choices for for Global Read Aloud 2014!

What is your favorite precept?

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September 30, 2014
by Mrs. Hamman's Class
9 Comments

Fraction Nation

Last Saturday a group of students came to our classroom to learn more about creating videos. We made green screen videos and stop motion videos, and learned how to edit in some special effects. Look for some examples of our new skills as we make videos to share our learning throughout the year!

One site we liked was called GoAnimate. It lets you create animated videos with your own characters. Eva made one to advertise a math game we’re going to be starting soon, Fraction Nation. Check it out below!

Fraction Nation by Hamman Team5 on GoAnimate

 

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September 23, 2014
by Mrs. Hamman
28 Comments

Oreo Project 2014

It’s time for the OREO Project! This project connects us with other classes around the country and world who are talking about math using OREO cookies.



This year we divided into four groups to do our two official attempts at stacking, then just for fun we did a round-robin style tournament where the winners from each group went against each other. Congratulations to Darren, the winner of the tournament!

Then we did some calculations about our results. We determined that the mode of our data was 18, the median was17, and the mean was 16.65. Our highest stack overall was 20. In Mr. Maijala’s class next door, the highest was 22. We’re going to have to ask them about the techniques they used to get their stacks higher!

In our groups we did some more math with the nutritional data of Oreos. Did you know:

  • There are more calories in a serving of regular Oreos than in a serving of Double Stuff. However, if you read the package carefully, you’ll see a “serving” of regular Oreos is 3 cookies, while a serving of Double Stuff is only 2!
  • There are approximately 2,800 calories in an entire package of Double Stuff Oreos. That’s about 40% more calories than you’re supposed to eat in a whole day!
  • A serving of regular Oreos contains 10% of the daily requirement of iron. You’d have to eat 30 cookies to get your whole daily requirement—probably not a good idea! We noticed there is more iron in regular Oreos than Double Stuff, so we assumed the iron must be in the cookie part and not the filling.
  • One serving of regular Oreos contains 8% of the daily allowance of sodium. If you ate 12.5 servings, or 37.5 cookies, you would reach 100% of your daily allowance of sodium.

Many of us in this class did the Oreo stacking two years ago, and we noticed that our stacks this year were overall much shorter than the ones from that year; we had several stacks of over 20 that year and our highest was 25. We wondered why that was. Do you think something about the cookie design could have changed in the past two years? Some of us thought that we are just less patient than we were when we were third graders! We’re curious to watch the results page and see how the data from other classes matches our results.

Did you participate in the Oreo Project?

 

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