Saturday, November 17, 2018


I thought Mythbusters was off the air, but its not! Which is awesome. I think it is a great show and a cool way to talk about scientific investigations.

This past week in 5th grade science, the 5th graders started designing a simple experiment to test the effect of force on an object. I like using Mythbuster videos to show students how to design scientific investigations. Not every investigation they do checks all the boxes, but it does allow us to discuss the questions they are asking, the variable, their steps, and how they can make a new investigation.

I spent sometime this week looking for some Mythbusters videos that show investigations dealing with force to show our 5th graders and then discuss.

If you use a service like View Pure, you can enter the link from YouTube and get a new link without ads or distracting side menus that YouTube might have.

Video #1
Cars Crashing into each other at 50mph

Video #2
Car crashing into wall at 100mph

Video #3
Dropping concrete on a car to make it somersault

Video #4
Eggs holding lots of weight

Video #5
Phone Book Friction

With each of these videos, you can ask the following questions:

What question is the investigation designed to answer?
What is the independent variable? What are the mythbusters changing?
What are the steps to their investigation?
What do you wonder? <--This question is to see if students think of similar investigations they could do. This is helpful as the TEKS states they should be designing their own experiment.

There are more force videos available, but these have no beeped language in them.

You can just have a class discussion after watching the videos or have students write their answers here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Four 4s--Week of Inspirational Math

I did this activity with my students at the beginning of the year two years ago. It was part of the Youcubed week of inspirational math. This is a week of activities that promote growth mindset in math and thinking of math beyond word problems but as relationships between numbers.

I had a great time doing the week of inspirational math with my students. There are now even more lessons then when I first started this.

This activity was called Four 4s. Students had to create expressions using only four 4s that equaled numbers 1-20. They could use any expression and any math they wanted. They loved it and I think it would be a great before a holiday activity. Students wanted to learn new math to keep creating expressions. I taught them square roots and exponents and they just gobbled that stuff up.

There is nothing that says this has to be done with only fours. If your students find expressions for all these numbers, move onto a another number!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Calculating Average Speed--FREE Resource

Math and Science are so closely connected, but students never believe it. Ever tried teaching a cross-curricular lesson, only to have students say "This isn't math/science/writing class!" Middle school students start to get a glimpse of how science needs math.

In the Texas Science Standards in 6th grade, students start to calculate average speed given time and distance measurements. Here are a few resources that may help students practice calculating average speed.


Start by introducing the the formula for calculating average speed by having students hop across the room or take the students outside. Mark off a predetermined distance (like 20 meters, 50 meters...) and give pairs or groups of students a timer to collect their data.


Take the Engage activity to a whole new level. Students will need to go outside for this one. Mark off a predetermined distance (50-100 meters) and have students tiptoe, speed walk, and run while they time the members of their group and then calculate their average speed.


Students should be able to read tables and graphs to calculate average speed. This mini-assessments helps you see if students are able to do that.

Download this for FREE here.

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