So here we have an experiment that allows students to think scientifically while applying their math measurement skills. I believe strongly that we need to give students real life opportunities to practice what we teach. I know I must get these math/science tools into their hands if I want them to truly understand how to use them.
Here we explored the ability of different soils to absorb water. We had previously examined the physical characteristics of these three types of soil and so now were ready to work with them.
Third graders are ready to use the scientific method as they experiment and we began with our question and our hypothesis. They are learning to state their hypothesis in an IF....THEN....statement. Great cause/effect practice. After a discussion of what we thought and why, we were ready to begin.
Students used measuring cups to add a specific amount of soil to a funnel. Here is a great place to talk about controls and variables in experimentation.
Next they used a graduated cylinder to measure water to add to the soil sample.
In it goes:
Here a student is watching the soil drain out while his partner times it with a stopwatch for thirty seconds.
After the bar graphs were completed, students answered the two thinking questions. This allowed them to apply their problem solving skills. I included a box for students to show off their math thinking.
Here a student is demonstrating her math thinking through math talk. She is circling key words that helped her think through how to solve it. Kids listen to kids way better than they listen to me sometimes. They also discover that there is usually more than one way to arrive at the same answer. The verbalizing of the thinking is extremely valuable...I try never to skip it!
Interested in trying this one? Here are the sheets. I run them back to back:Soil Soaking the Soil
Soil Soaking the Soil 2