Math Investigations

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Chapter 13

Part 1: Home and School Investigation

Send the Letter to Family (PDF file) home with each child. Once all of the children have brought their papers with the dinnertime written on it, collect them and put them in a bag. On a chalkboard, overhead transparency, or flip chart, make a table like the one below, adding tallies for the different dinnertimes.

Time We Eat Dinner
Dinnertime Tally Marks
before 5:30 PM  
5:30 PM  
6:00 PM  
6:30 PM  
7:00 PM  
after 7:00 PM  

Draw each piece of paper out of the bag and put a tally mark in the appropriate row for each dinnertime. When you have finished, ask questions such as:

  • What time did most of the children in our class eat dinner?
  • How many children ate dinner at 6:30?
  • Did more children eat dinner at 6:00 or 7:00?

A good time to do this activity is after Lesson 4 on telling time to the half-hour.

Part 2: Be an Investigator

A good time to do this investigation is anytime after Lesson 5 on elapsed time.


Introducing the Investigation

Give each child the Investigator Worksheet. Ask, How many seconds do you think it would take you to write your first name five times? Tell the children to write their guess at the top of the worksheet. Tell them that they are now going to find out.

Doing the Investigation

Tell the children to start writing their first name on the first line of their worksheet when you say, Start. Tell them to write their first name on every line, five times in all. Tell them that you will say the number of seconds that have passed as they write so they can write the number of seconds down on their worksheet when they finish.

When all children have finished, ask them to look back at the guess they made. Ask the following questions:

  • Did it take you more seconds or fewer seconds than you thought it would to write your first name five times?
  • Were you surprised at the results?

Discuss with the children all of the things that affect how fast you can write your name. For example, some names are longer than others, some letters take a longer time to write than others, some people write faster than others, etc.

Extending the Investigation

Make a tally chart or graph that shows the number of seconds it took the children in the class to write their first name five times.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 1