Apr 16, 2013

WonderWorks: Scales and Weight

Scales are technology:  even when they're very, very analog!

Today's Topic: Scales & Weight 
--as many different kinds of scales as you can gather (I borrowed some from friends and asked participating families to bring in any interesting and easily portable scales that they'd be willing to let other kids use during class.  We had an amazing variety!)
--things to weigh (a variety of heavy and light)
--coat hangers, string, tape, small plastic containers, sandwich baggies, clothespins and binder clips and anything else you can think of to build a rudimentary balance-type scale.

  cover art Ton / Miura, Taro

 What Kids Do: 
--weighed themselves (and compared all of the bathroom scales that we had gathered to see if they all read the same)
--weighed things on kitchen scales:
--lots and lots of block stacking on the scales:

--some tried spreading the weight over two scales.

--goals were set and acheived (how much stuff do you have to put on this scales to get to 5 lbs?)
--lots of concentration, lots of wonderful adult/child interaction and discussions!

--several creative home-made balance scales were made and tested:

 Variations to try: 
--another excellent book about weight is :  Whiz Kids: Tell me how much it weighs by Shirley Willis
--This project easily lends itself to note-taking practice!  (Although most kids today were too excited about playing with the scales to bother with meticulous note-taking, after they've had more time to play with scales at home, this would be a good next step.  Kids in today's class still made some excellent observations about scales and weight!)
Idea #1  Try measuring the same object on several different scales and see if you get the same answer each time (If not, why not?  Are some scales better suited for weighing certain objects?  Talk about choosing appropriate tools!)
Idea #2  How many wooden blocks does it take to make a pound?  How many toy cars?  How many marbles? etc.
Design a chart to track your answers:

Adult Challenge of the Week: 
Ask your child to predict what they think the results will be, then test them together!

Related Apps:
My first weighing exercises
Weigh the World by Ravensburger

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