Mrs. Fong-Wedgwood's kindergarten class at Edison School in Alameda, is joining Mr. Smith's fifth grade class, Mr. Britton's fourth grade class of Mohr Elementary School in Pleasanton, and Mr. Perotta's eighth grade class of Cesar Chavez Middle School in Union City to set up a "Risk" guide to help themselves and others make better choices when considering whether to engage in "risky" behavior.
Elementary grade students in California are introduced and expected to develop some mastery of statistics and probability in mathematics. They also take part in "Drug, Alcohol, and Tobacco Awareness" programs such as DARE, to help them make better choices when evaluating risks connected to using drugs and alcohol. This project is a way to integrate math, scientific and critical thinking, and health with an emphases on using technology and engaged learning. The students will communicate via the Internet to share information, help find, collaborate, evaluate, and rank data. The project will last a month with sufficient class time allotted to finish the task.
Early in the year, all kindergarten classes in Alameda visit Safety Town, a safety awareness project sponsored by the local Elks Club, fire, and police departments. Students are introduced to personal safety awareness when at home, at play, and during travel, whether it is on foot, by bicycle, or by car. Some of the safety rules that are introduced are: always wear a seat belt when riding in a car, always wear a helmet when riding a bike, always follow traffic signals, etc. There are discussions about what may happen if one does not follow these rules. This is a continuing topic of discussion throughout the year, especially when an accident occurs in class or elsewhere. October is National Fire Safety month which would be a good time to introduce Kindergartners about personal safety and the risks involved when not engaging in personal safety awareness. Also, Halloween is a great time to introduce traffic safety rules along with personal safety awareness.
When the Kindergartners join the other classes in this unit, they will do several activities that introduce them to the concepts of statistics and probability. Graphing activities introduces the student to data collection and making a graphic representation of their findings. Along with this, students will share oral reports about their findings. To increase their data sample, students will first collect data from the Mr. Smith's class and then, with the help of students' from Mr. Smith's class, they will collect data from Mr. Britton's and Mr. Perotta'a class via the internet.
To introduce students to the concept of probability, students will engage in several activities. In one activity, students make predictions before drawing color cubes out of a bag. Another activity, has students tossing coins and making predictions of outcomes. As with the statistics activities, these activities are extended to making predictions and gathering data from the other classes in this project via the internet.
After the introductory work, students brainstorm activities that they engage in that have the risk of getting hurt, i.e skate boarding, roller blade skating, bike riding. The class is surveyed to find out who has engaged in these activities and who has gotten hurt while doing these activities. Students are solicited to help make a graphs of their findings. Students are then broken into groups based on their personal interest to collect data from the other classes and to make graphs of their findings. The Kindergarteners will use the software KidPix to make their graphs on the computer.
After students complete their graphs they are asked to brainstorm things they can do prevent accidents. They will each make a "poster" aboout their findings using KidPix. These posters will be on display on a web page about safety.
Created for the NTEP II Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends of Fermilab, and funded by United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), and the National Science Foundation.
Created by the Sandia/CA Team: Bill Britton (Mohr Elementary School, Pleasanton) , Diana Fong-Wedgwood (Edison Elementary School), Tim Perrotta (Cesar Chavez Middle School), Steven Smith (Edison Elementary School), Nancy Wilson (Sandia National Laboratories/CA)