While looking for a new challenge question for this week, Mr. Weber came across a really interesting website:
The flame challenge began a couple of years ago when actor (and founding member of Stony Brook University’s Center for Communicating Science) Alan Alda was wondering about a question he had when he was 11 years old: “What is a flame?” He had been told by a teacher that it was “oxidation”, but he didn’t really understand what that meant. At all. So Alda presented scientists all over the globe with a challenge: explain what a flame is to an 11 year old (i.e. in everyday language.)
Mr. Weber’s Grade 1 reading group learned to play Scrabble this year, and boy are they good at it! (Especially considering they’re just 6 or 7 years old) Today we spent some time playing our first complete game; check out how cool our final board looked!
click on the image to enlarge
We also added our own adaptation to the game – if anyone played one of our weekly vocabulary words, you got 40 bonus points! Two of our words found their way onto the board – weird, and until. Great job, boys!
That’s right! Just like last year, Waldo, Wenda, Wizard Whitebeard, Odlaw and Woof are hiding somewhere in the library, and it’s your job to find them!
We’re hiding one character each day this week. There will be a clue on the blog and Challenge Board every morning, and you’re welcome to come searching for them during lunch, library class, and after school. Remember, when you find them, keep it SECRET. It’s more fun for everyone that way.
A lot of boys at Saints really love math. Like, a lot. If you’re looking for some extra challenging and interesting math problems on which to work, check out the following resources:
The University of Waterloo (in Ontario) puts out 4 math problems every week. One is aimed to Grades 5 & 6, one to Grades 7 & 8, one to Grades 9 & 10, and one to Grades 11 & 12. Sometimes they’re really, really hard, but often if you apply yourself you can solve all 4. Click on the picture of this week’s Grade 5 & 6 problem (below) to visit the Problem of the Week page, where you can access all the problems and solutions from the last three years.
Another website that offers some great math challenges is MathCounts – which focuses on fun challenges for middle school aged students. Their Problem of the Week is a set of problems that surround an event, holiday, math concept, etc. A new set is posted on Monday of each week and the solutions are available on the Monday of the following week in the Problem of the Week Archive. Click on the banner below to visit the MathCounts website, which has all the problems from the last 13 years!
Last week’s Challenge Question needs your input to decide the winner! We asked students to thumb through a dictionary and submit the weirdest word they found. We’ll decide on the winner with the poll at the end of the post!
Here are the nominees:
The chemical element of atomic number 70, a silvery-white metal of the lanthanide series.
/mah-zuhl tawv, tawf, tohv/
Exclamation (from Yiddish)
A Jewish phrase expressing congratulations or wishing someone good luck.
/ pol-ee-sak–uh-rahyd /
A carbohydrate whose molecules consist of a number of sugar molecules bonded together.
/ spi-luhngk /
Verb (used without object)
To explore caves, esp. as a hobby.
A nocturnal burrowing African mammal (Orycteropus afer, family Orycteropidae) with long ears, a tubular snout, and a long extensible tongue, feeding on ants and termites. Aardvarks are native to Africa and have no close relatives