The Math Around Us
We dance with numbers all day long. We divide up the hours in our day, and we balance the equations of our resources and our needs. Technology offers us new ways to calculate the food we eat and the energy we spend through our work and play. Some numbers we track with precision and others we estimate and intuit, but every quantity and coordinate in our lives has a story to tell.
Just as a musician practices scales in order to perform a symphony, mathematicians hone the craft of calculation and computation in order to answer important questions. In our learning expeditions and in our musical studies, we ask those questions- “how much?” “how many?” “how often?” and we use numbers and calculations to answer those questions.
- This week, K1 students explored the distinction between primary, secondary, and tertiary colors by using Venn diagrams to sort toys based on their color content. Students also polished their data collection skills by analyzing the number of times that a character in a story encounters various colors on his journey.
- The K2 class has been learning about the very important topic of nutrition. By administering juice taste tests, they have been measuring people’s different taste preferences. They have also been classifying and exploring the physical differences of fruits, such as their number of seeds.
- Second graders’ study of graphing will soon help them to better understand snakes. They will chart the differences between species of snakes by graphing their lengths. They will also create surveys to gauge people’s individual thoughts and reactions to snakes.
- Fourth graders are applying their data analysis skills to complex real-life trends, such as immigration. They have been practicing interpreting graphs by working with data sets of the nationalities that make up the Boston immigrant population and the regions where they live.
- Fifth graders are learning about the geological concept of Albedo and its effect on global climate. They constructed experiments using lights and thermometers to observe how the varying reflective qualities (or albedo) of different colors of paper affects temperature. They then studied graphs that show how this phenomenon on a large scale can potentially affect world climate, such as the gradual melting of the polar ice caps.