Friday, September 5, 2008

cyberchase (for real) :-)

My kids used to watch Cyberchase on PBSKids years ago... long before any of the math concepts would make any sense to them whatsoever. It was just that when they were toddlers, there wasn't much toddler appropriate viewing available during the time I was cooking dinner... other than PBSKids.

I had sort of forgotten all about the show until a friend of mine reminded me about it. So, I set the DVR to record a few episodes for school.

Yesterday was a dark, dreary, rainy day so I thought it was a good day for Cyberchase. After lunch, the kids curled up on the couch to watch an episode of Cyberchase. This particular episode was called "Totally Rad". While they were watching I found the Lesson Plan online and printed it. I looked it over and started getting the materials together. For this particular one you just needed their activity sheet and some toothpicks (I cut mine in half). Well... I couldn't find the activity sheet anywhere on their site (it's probably there, I just couldn't find it), so I quickly made one myself. It was just supposed to be a grid of one inch squares (according to their instructions, but I made mine 1.25" squares to better fit our toothpick halves). I used the handy-dandy free graph paper generator I found online a while back.

After the show, I turned them loose with the toothpicks and graph paper to see how many different rectangles they could make using all twelve toothpick pieces....

After they had made their three rectangles, Alex multiplied to find the area of each rectangle, Clara counted the squares. It was a cool way to show them that even though the perimeter stayed the same, the area can change.

Finally, since we had a little bit of time to kill before we had to leave for gymnastics, the kids played the game online that related to this lesson on perimeter and area (it was linked in the lesson plan).

It was a good little activity for a rainy day!

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