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Welcome to my math blog! The purpose of this blog is to help you stay informed about our learning and experiences that have taken place during our math class. I have also included links your child (and you) may want to use in order to supplement math learning in 5th grade.

Monday, September 9, 2013

How Many Dollars in a Ton?

So, this summer, while watching more television than was good for me, I noticed the Esurance commercial about saving a ton of dollars (see video:  Esurance Commerical).  A mathematical question occurred to me... just how many dollars ARE in a ton?  This is the question we investigated in math today.

We began by watching the video and I posed the day's question.  Then I asked the all important question:  How much does a dollar weigh?.  To answer this.... we googled it.  We discovered that all forms of paper currency weigh 1 gram.  

One Gram

 So then, I asked the kids just how many grams are in a ton?  After looking at our 5th Grade Mathematics Chart (aka "BOB"), we found that grams are a metric measurement and tons are a customary measurement.  They don't seem to go together...  What to do?  Google it!  We learned that 1 pound = 453.592 grams!  I was most excited... here, in the "real" world, we had found an example of decimals to the thousandths!  The kids were not as impressed... 

 I also took a minute to discuss the number 453.592.  I wanted them to realize that although the number 453.592 looks like a large number, when you place the word gram with it, you are talking about 1 pound, which is not a heavy weight.  It is very important for students to look at labels and think about their meaning, instead of looking at the number only and making an assumption.  I explained that the 453 is the number of dollars in a pound and the .592 is the weight towards the next dollar.  We could round our information to say that 1 pound = $454.

One Pound

Next, we used "BOB" to determine how many pounds are in a ton (2000).  We used calculators to multiply 453.592 and 2000.  Thereby discovering that there are $907,184 dollars in a ton!  
One Ton
Using this information, we reviewed what we did in class last week.  Each student chose a digit, named its period, its place, and its value.  They wrote the answer to our question (How many dollars in a ton?) in both word and expanded form. Then, I asked them to round the number to the nearest hundred.  

To finish off our day, I had them work with four whole number place value problems.  These were turned in for a grade.

The homework tonight is:

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