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Decimals, Epidemics & Fly Vomit – It’s science!

📖Standards

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.NBT.B.7 Add, subtract, multiply, and divide decimals to hundredths

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.MD.A.1 Convert among different-sized standard measurement units within a given measurement system (e.g., convert 5 cm to 0.05 m), and use these conversions in solving multi-step, real world problems.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.6.6 Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

Lesson

1. Play a game

Play AzTech: Empiric Empire to learn basic conversions from fractions to decimals. Empiric Empire is available free for iPad or iPhone and for Android phones. As an added bonus, students will also learn about epidemics. It’s worth mentioning that the smallpox epidemic was spread by viruses but a lot of other diseases are spread by flies.

Note: For summer learning, you may want to just copy the paragraph above into your Google classroom for students to download the games to their phones.

2. Watch a video

I pasted in a link starting after the first minute because that is mostly telling you to like/ subscribe and comment. Ah, YouTube!

Bell Ringer – What if flies went extinct ?  This 7:33  minute video discusses flies as agricultural pests and disease vectors, but also their benefits as scavengers eating up decaying carcasses, pollinators and animal feed.

Here is the link if you’d like to post in your Google classroom or other CMS for students to watch at home. https://youtu.be/80Iqp6bqc-0?t=76

3. Read about flies

Recommended reading: Eat like a house fly. Houseflies and barf

What really happens when a house fly lands on your food? Print out this page from Science World – Canada , include the link in your Google classroom or other CMS for students to read, or just read the page to students during class. The experiment requires vinegar, jello and a turkey baster – things many people have around the house or can pick up easily at a local store. It also includes a list of vocabulary words and definitions, which fits perfectly with our philosophy of direct teaching of academic language.

4. Complete word journal

This lesson provides the opportunity for students to learn many words, in the reading, in the videos and possibly in the Empiric Empire game as well. Students add words or terms with which they are unfamiliar to their word journal. Some teachers call it a personal dictionary, to others it’s a word journal. Regardless, the goal is the same, for students to record new words, give a dictionary definition and “make the word their own”. This can be done by rewriting the definition in their own words, using the word in a sentence or including an illustration of the word.

Two dictionary sites to recommend for definitions are below. An added bonus to mention to students is that they can hear words pronounced.

Since students often ask for an example, here is an example you can link in your lesson

The personal dictionary assignment, with all links, can be found here. Feel free to copy and paste into your Google classroom or other site, or print out for your class.

5. Presentation on Decimals in Science (Fly Experiment)

Give this presentation on using decimals to weigh flies, their containers and the food they eat to answer the question, “Do flies really eat 10 times their weight each day?”

Watch a second video

I recommend watching the first 5 1/2 minutes of the Facts About Flies – Secret Nature video  to give the students some idea about both flies as vectors of disease but also important scavengers consuming decaying material. The full documentary is 49 minutes, which I personally found to be more about flies than I wanted to know.

Assessment

Three types of assessment are included in this lesson.

  1. The Word Journal assignment is completed individually and submitted.
  2. Math questions answered within the Empiric Empire game are scored automatically with immediate feedback and student results can be viewed in the teacher reports.
  3. Math questions posed within the presentation can be answered as a whole class, having students hold up a card with their answer or with individual students responding and asking the rest of the class to agree or disagree.


Differentiated instruction

Review of Decimal Addition

One-minute step-by-step video from TeacherTube on Adding Decimals may be helpful for students who need a review of decimal addition.

Watch the whole video

For students who are extremely interested in insects, watching the entire 49 minute video of Facts about Flies will satisfy their curiosity

Experiments with fly larva

For teachers who want to do a deep dive into the role flies in consuming food waste, the experiment above uses 100 black soldier fly larvae. I am extremely impressed with this lesson because not only does it include a link to where to buy maggots (on Amazon, of course) but also answers the obvious question of what do you do with 100 fly larvae after your experiment is over. The answer is that you feed these to your class reptile. Would I bring 100 maggots into my classroom? Not in a million years, but that is why I am not an entomologist.

You DO have a class snake, don’t you?

Buffalo Hunts and Division

📖 Standard

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.NBT.B.5 Fluently multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.NBT.A.3.A Read and write decimals to thousandths

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.NBT.A.4 Use place value understanding to round decimals to any place.

NOTE: Teachers who have not yet covered decimals in their class have an option within the lesson to only teach the first standard.

⏰ Time

25- 30 minutes

📲 Technology Required

Computer or mobile device

📃 Summary

Begin with a video on long division (optional) or a presentation on uses of division from the playground to the buffalo hunt. Watch a short video working long division problems. Finish with practicing long division in Making Camp Dakota. Short videos on Dakota buffalo hunt traditions and related math lessons are also linked.

📚Lesson

Video: Optional for Review

If your students need a review of the steps in long division, we recommend this six-minute video that uses the acronym HMS ↓ to teach students to :

  • Ask How Many
  • Multiply
  • Subtract
  • Bring down

Presentation on Division and Buffalo Hunts

This Google slides presentation gives common factors in buffalo hunts across different tribes and explains how whether it is computing the number of hides a horse can carry or how long each group gets to play at recess, division is always useful.

NOTE: This presentation includes two slides that reference converting a fraction to a decimal. If you have not yet introduced this concept, those slides can be deleted.

Video: Long Division by Guessing

For those students who don’t know where to start with long division – guess!

Play a Game – Making Camp Dakota

Select the Buffalo Icon (top left corner) in the first MATH screen to practice long division.

Math Screen #1 from Making Camp Dakota

Related Lessons

For more instruction on division check out these two lessons:

Related videos

These two videos, each about 1 minute in length, give more information on traditional Dakota buffalo hunts.

Becoming a buffalo hunter

Dakota deer and buffalo hunting

Converting fractions to decimals

📖 Standard

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.NS.A.2.D Convert a rational number to a decimal using long division; know that the decimal form of a rational number terminates in 0s or eventually repeats.

⏰ Time

30-40 minutes

📲 Technology Required

A projector or smart board is required to show the Google slides presentation in class. It can also be shown using any web meeting software for remote learning. The random candy generator can be used by students in anything with a browser, including computers, tablets or phones. This activity is optional. It’s actually more fun with fun-size bags of candy like Skittles or M & M’s.

📃 Summary

Students watch a video or hear a presentation explaining using long division to convert fractions to decimals. A second method of using place value is discussed when the denominator is tenths, hundredths or thousandths. Students then play a game that teaches converting fractions to decimals and end with an activity finding the decimal representing each color in a bag of candy. A simulator is included if no bags of candy are available!

📚 Lesson

EITHER watch the video below

This is a 7-minute video that gives the steps in converting fractions to decimals, with multiple examples, using both long division and place value.

OR Use this Google Slides Presentation

The Google slides presentation covers the same material as the video with the same examples. The steps in the long division problems are animated in the presentation. If you prefer a PowerPoint presentation you can find that here. Both can be viewed from these links or you can copy into your own Google drive or download to modify for your class.

The presentation and video both include two sample problems to work as a class.

NOTE: The presentation includes an activity converting fractions to decimals using candy or a random sample application.

Play a Game

Play the Empiric Empire game for 10 minutes. This game teaches fractions and decimals in the context of concepts from epidemiology such as prevalence, incidence and mortality rate.

Simulated Candy Bag

Convert fractions with Candy

The Google Slides/ Powerpoint ends with an activity where students use a pack of candy to find fractions, convert those fractions to decimals and graph the result. If you don’t have time / forgot to buy bags of candy, you can use a simulator here. Random fact: The average fun-size bag contains 12 pieces of candy. There is a link for plain graph paper in the slides. If you’d prefer graph paper with fractions and decimals already entered, this page is divided into sixteenths.

Assessment

This lesson includes three types of assessment. There are the problems completed together in class, included within the presentation or video. There are the problems completed within the Empiric Empire game which you can see in the teacher reports. There is also an assessment at the end of the slides using different colors of candy to convert fractions to decimals and chart the results.

Rational numbers, adding and subtracting decimals

📖STANDARD

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.NS.A.1 Apply and extend previous understandings of addition and subtraction to add and subtract rational numbers

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.EE.B.3 Solve multi-step real-life and mathematical problems posed with positive and negative rational numbers

⏰TIME

30-45 minutes

📲TECHNOLOGY REQUIRED

A projector and computer in class or a computer, phone or tablet at home is required to watch the videos and see the Google slides. Slides can also be printed and sent home with students.

📃LESSON SUMMARY

Students watch two videos explaining decimal and fraction equivalence. They are then presented with a brief reminder of natural, integer and rational numbers. A slide presentation discusses adding and subtracting decimals. The lesson ends with teacher and student-generated practice problems.

📚LESSON

Since the previous lesson discussed rational numbers and fractions, we introduce this lesson with two videos explaining the equivalence of fractions and decimals.

Video Introducing Decimals

This three minute video discusses fractions, decimals and percents as three ways of expressing the same number.

This second video shows examples of fractions and decimals as equivalent.

Presentation and Practice Problems

Use this Google slides presentation to reinforce the understanding of rational numbers introduced in the previous lesson. Students can answer two formative assessment questions during a presentation or these can be done on their own with students learning at home. The lesson ends with students writing and sharing their own decimal addition and subtraction problems with classmates.

Enrichment Option

To provide motivated or advanced students more information on types of numbers, assign this optional two-page reading on types of numbers.

ASSESSMENT

Formative assessment problems are given in the presentation. Students also write their own problems and answers.

Note: Aztech: Mayan Empire, available in the 2021-22 school year teaches decimal addition and subtraction.

STATE STANDARD

Missouri Learning Standards (MLS) 7.NS.A.1.a