This year I used "Divide and Ride" which is great for my grade 4's since it deals with remainders. Last year we planned an inquiry based math lesson for division based on amusement park rides. It went something like this:
Option 1: Tell the students that a group of people (what ever number you want) are going to an amusement park and they want to go on a ride altogether (show a picture of the ride). Ask how many rows they need to go on the ride together, will there be any left over cars or left over people?
Option 2: A group of 6 people want to go on this ride (show a picture of the ride). They are waiting in line and trying to figure out how many more cycles of the ride they have to wait for their turn. There are 58 people in line in front of them. Remember they want to go on altogether. How many more turns do they have to wait.
Another book we read this week was Each Kindness by Jaccqueline Woodson. It is a fantastic book about how we treat people and how little actions can have big impacts (not smiling, turning our head away from someone) and about regretting our choice to not show kindness (warning there is not a happy ending - but an important message!). My favorite part is when the teacher in the book gathers the students around a bowl of water and drops a pebble in it. She tells the students that each act of kindness is like the pebble and the ripples of the action go out into the world like the ripples in the water (I think the same could be said for acts that are not so kind). This visual image had a huge impact on the kids in my class.
Some possible follow-up activities:
*nothing - let the message sit with the kids
*identify the message of the book
*use a tree diagram to calculate how acts of kindness could ripple and how many people would be affected if you did 2 acts of kindness and each of those people did two acts - figure it out for 5 ripples/level - or if everyone in your class did 1 act - and all of those people did one act and so on for 5 levels/ripples
I saw this awesome poster on Classroom Freebies that is from Diane at Teach With Me.
Check back tomorrow for my Manic Monday graphing freebie.