# Math and science

Math and science

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A. WEBSITE ACTIVITY

1. The websites are geared towards promoting knowledge, to provide information to kids who need them. They are colorful, especially the Egyptian Mummy and the Dragonfly, and they cater to the many questions hat children may have, like in Whyville and the Yuckiest Site in the Internet. These sites encourage young minds to think and to explore, to enjoy while learning something new.

2. I really appreciated the websites that I have visited, but if there is one thing that is missing, perhaps it is its universality — children from all over the world could gain from these websites as well, and it would be a good idea to make these available in a number of languages. It can also be a good way to help students to learn basic foreign language.

3. If I was to start my own science/math website, I would probably call it www.livingmysteries.com. it would have all sorts of information about the usual questions and curiosities of children (i.e. why is the sky blue?) to the more difficult inquiries (i.e. How are images transmitted to TV screens?, Was there really an Atlantis?), to the imponderables, questions that adults often consider as illegitimate questions (i.e. do fish sleep, and if they do, do they close their eyes?). The website would cater to the interests and questions of children, to encourage their inquisitiveness and curiosity. It would be flash-animated, the visual look borrowing from Japanese animation and Western cartoons and graphic novels, because I believe that to keep a young mind looking, one should capture their imagination and interest. I understand that the younger generation’s world is painted in these hues of video games and animation, so it would be better if I would be able to apply those elements in my site as well.

B.

1. Basically, the ten strategies for effectively teaching problem solving to students centers on the educator’s belief in the students’ capacity to understand the material and to figure out the problem for themselves. Simply answering and showing the solutions to the students will not help them to acquire the necessary skills needed to aptly analyze and answer the problems by themselves. By giving the students enough independence to look for the solutions for the problems in various and creative ways, students are encouraged to think out of the box, be independent, and be creative in looking for solutions. Further, their critical thinking skills are enhanced and improved. Some methods of teaching problem solving would require the educator to encourage the students to work in groups, to do simulations of the problem, to look for patterns in the problem presented, to make an organized list, to guess and check or implement a trial and error method, to work backwards first starting with the answer and showing the steps on how the answer was arrived at, to use logical reasoning and backing this up with mathematical equations, to use diagrams and visual aids, to simplify and/or use simpler problems and then gradually working towards more complicated ones, to explain and read the problems carefully and create problem solving journals.

2. Abigail Zuger’s article on the New York Times on Sweatology, a discussion on the function, the science, and the importance of sweat to humans and our health, is a useful article in the classroom. It not only discusses the role of sweat and perspiration, but also its effects on the human body and how it provides cooling to the body.

Articles like this not only explain the biological processes (in this case respiration), but also provide an insightful view to children about the inherent importnace and the beauty of the human body and how it works as a whole. A teacher can use this article in her science class, when discussing the human body and its various processes, or when discussing the importance of water in our bodies.

Reference:

Zuger, Abigail. Sweatology, from the New York Times, 14 August 2007.