Thursday, 6 October 2016

Porcupines! Zoo Project Week 4

Tackling our learning outcomes through our zoo project is proving to be very engaging!

Porcupines! Turns out many of our classmates have had some experience with one, likely because we live in a rural area! We laid out our questions for the week: How do they "shoot their spikes"? Can their "spikes" grow back? Do they eat meat or plants?

We quickly learned the "spikes" are actually called quills. Baby porcupines, called "porcupettes" (awwww!), are born with soft quills that harden after 2 days. Quills aren't thrown, but are loosened by shaking and detach when the porcupine rubs up against a perceived predator. Cool!

After reading How Do You Hug a Porcupine, we played with beginning sounds to make different words in the "ug" word family! 

Our Math focus has shifted from patterning to number sense. Our task this week helped us to better understand "conservation of number", which means the number of items remains the same even when the items are rearranged. To better understand this, students each made a porcupine with 15 quills. 

Look at how different 15 can look!

No matter how the 15 quills are arranged, there are always 15 there. 

Sketching tends to be a very calming task for our students. They focus intently on larger shapes and then add details and labels. 

So ... care to guess how you should hug a porcupine? 

Porcupine math task inspired by Cara Carroll
"UG" word family task from My Teaching Station. 

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