I believe that learning takes place when
teachers design learning tasks that help students acquire knowledge, generate
ideas, and solve problems. Children are inquisitive by nature. I believe
children should have the opportunity to actively engage in learning through an
inquiry process because knowledge is more meaningful when students discover
knowledge on their own. The act of hypothesizing, investigating, and drawing
conclusions helps students build confidence and gives students ownership of
their education. In an effort to help students learn the art of working with
a HYPOTHESIS, we did the following:
23, 2004 we started a fun
Internet project called ALPHA-BITS
, hosted by Jennifer Wagner.
The project was designed for students to
test a hypothesis, using a box of Alpha-bits cereal. Students were invited to share
project results with
all participants by posting their findings on the project web site.
Each participating class needed to have 1
box of Post's Alpha-Bits in the 15 oz size! (Frosted or Non Frosted)
Each class opened the box of Alpha-Bits
and divided the cereal into 3 groups. Vowels: A E I O U, Consonants: ALL OTHER
LETTERS, and Final Group: INDISTINGUISHABLE.
# 1. There would be more CONSONANTS in
their box of Alpha-Bits than Vowels.
# 2. That in the VOWEL grouping, E would
be he most dominant!
The first thing our class did was discuss
the Hypothesis, and, how we would go about proving or disproving it.
Before conducting our investigation we
voted on what we thought our results would be. The voting was as follows:
Number 1 vote count
3 = More Consonants in the box
10 = More Vowels in thr box
5 = Equal Number of Vowels and Consonants
in the box
Number 2 vote count
5 = vowel "e" would be the most dominant
vowel in the box
13 = vowel "e" would not be the most
dominant vowel in the box
We were each given a baggie full of
alphabits. We separated the vowels, consonants and the indistinguishable
pieces of cereal. After observing our piles, we noticed that we should
probably change our votes.
Re-voting : 16 = More
Consonants (we could tell by just looking at our stacks) 2 = More Vowels
counting all of the pieces of cereal in each pile, adding them together with
our group's numbers, and
then adding our whole class' information together....our numbers did not add
up right away. We had to recount and crunch our data. We recounted and
recounted until all of the numbers added up.
When we were done, we found the first
original hypothesis to be correct!
THERE WERE 1,037 consonants and 655
This is a picture of someone from group 2
adding their numbers during our investigations!
After that we focused on the individual
vowels to see if "E" was the most dominant. We collected our data pretty much
the same way as before except we had groups of "a,e,i,o,u,y" instead of just
separating vowels and consonants.
This time the original
hypothesis was wrong! However,
some of our astute 2nd graders were correct in their voting.
The dominant vowel in our box of Alphabits
vowel "A". The vowel "E" came in 5th
place, not the most dominant.
Working on this project helped us learn
how to think scientifically. We learned how to collect data, and then use the
data to prove or disprove a theory. We also found out that scientists have to
keep checking their data until their numbers match. This took
the longest amount of ti me .We practiced adding using the partial sums
method first, then, we used the calculators to check our work. Participating
in this online project enabled us to integrate Math, Science, Language Arts,
and Technology in a very exciting and meaningful way!
Final Count of Vowels VS Consonants!
original Hypothesis was CORRECT!
Indistinguishable = 1210
We concluded that there will always be
more consonants than vowels in a box of Alpha-Bits because there are more
consonants than vowels in our language system.
individual Vowel Count
original Hypothesis was NOT CORRECT!
"E" was not the dominant vowel.
A = 266
DOMINANT VOWEL IN OUR BOX
E = 22
I = 16
O = 250
U = 5
(LEAST DOMINANT VOWEL IN OUR BOX)
Y = 97
learning experience supports Whitefish
Standard # 4
teacher understands and uses a variety
instructional strategies, including the use of technology to encourage
development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance