Go Green Teacher Resources
Our “Go Green” winners this month showed that many teachers are thinking seriously about the environment and are aware of the consequences of not going green. When teachers help students understand the importance of saving our resources and protecting the environment, kids will carry those “green” values into adulthood. With a little help from teachers and other adults who care, these kids are going to change the world we live in for the better.
Susan Delago, Grade 4, Spring Creek Elementary School, Florida
Our region has been under one of the worst droughts we have had in many years. Therefore, we have spent considerable amounts of time studying the effects of water quality, water quantity and availability in our state, and water conservation.
When our county began instituting and enforcing water restrictions, I began demonstrations on statistics of fresh water availability throughout the world, using fractions in my demonstration. This led into discussions and demonstrations of aquifers and sources of fresh water in our state. We examined each step of the water cycle and learned about naturally purifying water as it percolates through the different layers of soil and rock on its way to the aquifers.
The unit continued with a simulation I found on the National Energy Foundation website about water usage and conservation. In the story, students became detectives who had to find out how many people were living in the landlady's apartment. The landlady had specified that four was the maximum number of occupants allowed, but the water bill for the particular month in question was very high. In order to determine what average water usage would be, students completed the math operations using scientific inquiry.
Math was integrated using measurement, including: frequency, tables for data, volume, fractions, customary measurement, and metric measurement. Students used a tally sheet to gather data about the water used in their households on a daily basis. Using this raw data, students calculated the total number of gallons of water used daily in their homes and the average number of gallons of water used per person, per day. We then compiled and compared all of the data and made specific connections between results, like mean and mode. These figures were used to "solve" the mystery and make hypotheses about the number of people living in the landlady's apartment.
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