Monday, August 27, 2007


Prime numbers and the Sieve of Eratoshthanese were the focus of math today. While we learned last week about what prime numbers are (ask your kid if you don’t remember) today we looked at a cool way to figure out the prime numbers between 1 and 100. The funny thing about this is that it was created in the 3rd Century BC by the same mathematician that figured out the circumference of the earth. I have taught a similar lesson to this for the last seven years and only this summer did I learn that I had kind of been doing it wrong. Not really wrong, but the way I taught it today was much better and amazingly enough, I think the kids understood it better. We also played a game in class called BUZZ. Basically you just count from 1 to 100 in a circle but whenever you get to a prime number you don’t say the number, you just say “buzz.” The kids enjoyed it and it helped us remember our prime numbers. One of the things I was most encouraged with was that many of the kids said that they were using divisibility rules and patters to determine if they had a composite number or if they had to say buzz. That is exactly what I want them doing. I can’t remember all the prime numbers between 1 and 100 but I can figure them out.

I also want to take a minute to plug the upcoming Parent Information Evening. It starts at 6:00 on Thursday night. There are two sessions for parents that have more than one kid. Please try to make it to one of the sessions. I will be going over a lot of the classroom procedures and answering any questions that you might have. It really is my only opportunity to explain how I, and 5th grade does some things in person. I hope to have a big turn out on Thursday. As an added bonus, I will have the sign up for parent teacher conferences that night. If you want a prime spot, come to Parent Information Evening to get your choice of times. After that, I will probably just be assigning slots.

I had a parent mention that she liked the blog because it led to better conversations at home about what happened at school. That is awesome. If you have any insights about the blog or web site or how I can make them better, or more useful please let me know. Here are a couple of questions your could ask your child about tonight.
  • Who is the fastest person in Room 42? Hint, he is tall and has spikey hair and wears a teachers ID badge.
  • How do you figure out speed? This ties into the first question.
  • How is your handwriting? And what is the format of the handwriting assignment.

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