My students need geodes, other rocks, and chisels to investigate density.
In my geometry classes, students ask questions and carry out investigations; this is real mathematics. I seek to make connections to the plethora of knowledge my students come to me with while fostering their natural curiosity to understand the world around them.
My students are diverse in many ways.
For starters my students are have a wide range of educational experiences. While some are taking geometry as an advanced placement others only have a few years of formal education due to spending much of their lives in refugee camps. While many of my students grew up in the United States, others are refugees who speak over a dozen different home languages. From black to white, monolingual to multilingual, or ponytail to hijab, my students are eager to engage in genuine learning experiences that will help them understand the world around them.
Density, the relationship between the mass and volume of an object, is a concept that can be hard to truly understand without meaningful real-life connections. The written materials out there are often dry and do not connect to my students' experiences. Most practice problems relate to the density of different rocks, something most of my students do not have hands-on experience with. I want to make our density unit relevant to my students experiences by providing them with a hands-on opportunity to investigate the density of different rocks including geodes. For this inter-curricular project we will start by finding the density of a pumice stone (low density), gabbro (high density), and several other rocks. This information will be recorded on a graph for each class. Students will then journal about how they found the density of these rocks.
This will help my students better understand the relationship between mass, volume, and density.
Next, pairs of students will receive unopened geodes. Each pair of students will find the density of their geode and add their geode's density to the class graph. Then students will journal about how the density of the geodes compare with the density of the other rocks?
The next day students will get to crack open their geodes and share their observations with their classmates. Students will journal about the relationship between a geode’s density and its crystal formations. This engaging hands-on, inter-curricular project will not only provide my students with the real-life experiences they need to truly understand density, but will give them a learning experience they will have for a lifetime.
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|ROCK GEODES SET OF 72 • Frey Scientific||$89.99||2||$179.98|
|Crack Open 15 Geodes and Explore Crystals with NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC • Amazon Business||$49.99||1||$49.99|
|25 Break Your Own Geodes, 90% Hollow-Small ( 1-1.5") Crack Open & Discover Amazing Surprise Crystals Inside! Educational Info and Instructions Included, Fun Party Favors & Prizes, Dancing Bear Brand • Amazon Business||$24.95||2||$49.90|
|Bastex Rock Hammer Pick , 11 Inch, 20 oz. Pointed Tip Geological Hammer • Amazon Business||$13.80||1||$13.80|
|Stanley 16-298 3 Piece Cold Chisel Kit • Amazon Business||$11.22||1||$11.22|
|PUMICE GRAY LS • Frey Scientific||$8.09||1||$8.09|
|GABBRO BROWN TO BLACK LS • Frey Scientific||$6.29||1||$6.29|
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