I am SO glad that state testing is over!! I’m not shy about how much I dislike the state testing. How much time it takes from learning, how it’s not developmentally appropriate, how it doesn’t provide information that informs my teaching like assessments should. Now that it’s over, we can get back to our regularly scheduled amazing learning experiences!!
This week I’m teaching measurement. I will be honest: measurement is not my strong suit. I can’t ever remember liters, quarts, pints, etc. and it makes me crazy! So…I decided to spice it up and make it fun! Both for my own benefit and for my students! As I thought about what to do about measuring milliliters, I looked at the curriculum. It only had worksheets with pictures of things asking what unit of measurement you would use to measure the water in a bathtub or in a bucket. This is probably how I learned to measure and why, to this day, I am unable to decipher between a quart and a pint (shh! Don’t tell anyone!). I knew I had to make measuring hands on and fun or my students will turn out like me, heaven forbid!
So, I decided to have a Bottle Flipping Challenge. The great thing about hands on, project-based learning is that you are never just teaching one thing! During the Bottle Flipping Challenge, my students will not only be measuring milliliters but we will also be collecting data, creating graphs, and discussing probability. That kind of stuff just makes my teacher heart flutter!
Here’s the plan (feel free to use any or all of it….stealing is welcomed around here):
First, students will get into partners. They will be given a water bottle with a number on it (I’m numbering my water bottles 1-15 for tracking purposes), a post-it with a certain amount of milliliters (ex. 45ml), and a beaker that measure milliliters. As partners, students will measure out the amount of water they were given on the post-it note into the beaker, dump out the rest of the water in the sink and refill their water bottle with the specific amount that they measured out. (I could have measured out each water bottle on my own but this way students are actually getting a chance to practice measuring to the milliliter and have a hand in setting up the project)
Next, we will set out all of the 15 water bottles on the playground. Each water bottle will be labeled with the bottle number and the # of milliliters of water inside the bottle. Students will need their clipboard, pencil, and their data sheet:
Once students have their things, they will be able to go to each water bottle and flip each one 5 times. Students do not have to go in number order. As they flip their bottles, they will need to write out how many milliliters of water each bottle has and keep track of how many successful throws and epic fails they have for each one.
After all of the flipping of bottles is finished, we will come back to the classroom to take a look at our data. As a class we will add up all of our successful throws and our epic fails for each bottle and record them on this sheet:
Once we have the totals for each of the 15 bottles, students will flip their sheet over and graph the successful throws for each bottle. When the graphing is done, we will be able to easily pick out which bottle was most successful, which was least successful, and discuss why we think we had these results. Here is the graphing paper we will use:
We will be doing this project over a period of two days. I’ve never tried this before so I can’t wait to see if it actually pans out! But that is part of the fun isn’t it? Being creative and taking risks? I think so!! I will be writing a follow up to this post once we do our project later this week. I’m looking forward to sharing how it went and letting you in on some insights to making it even better!
I have had so much fun just planning and setting up this project and I know that when I have fun teaching, my students will have fun learning!