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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, March 24, 2014

Drops of Water on A Penny

The topic of our lesson today was data characteristics.  We took notes about outliers - values on a number line much larger or much smaller than the other values.  We also defined a cluster in math as groups of values "clustered" together on a line plot.  Finally, we defined a gap on a line plot as large space where there are no values.

However, before we could work with these new terms, we needed to gather our data.  Hence, the experimental question.... "How many drops of water can a penny hold?"  I gave each of my six tables a penny, eye dropper, and container with water.  I began by having them predict the number of drops.  This was usually around 5... but the actual data is much higher!

I circled the room, monitoring the drops of water.  The dropper cannot be too high off the penny, nor should it be too close.  The drops should not be tiny, in fact, they should all be about the same medium size.  Be sure not to wiggle the table.   So on and so on.

The kids were shocked to find that a penny holds quite a few drops of water.  This is because of the meniscus formed by the water, creating a "bubble" that rises above the penny.  This is due to surface tension.  Once the surface tension breaks.... off flows the water.

We completed the experiment for both the heads and tails of the penny.  Each group found the mean number of drops.  We gathered the class data together on our sheets and proceeded to find the range, mean, median, and mode for the number of drops of water held on the head of a penny and for the tail of the penny.

We will use the data tomorrow from all three classes to create a line plot and look for outliers, clusters, and gaps in our data.

HOMEWORK:  Countdown 5.8

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