Activities & Lesson Plans - 5th & 6th Grade Newsletter 4/30/10 - A Miniature Horse

Grade: 5th-6th

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April 30, 2010 | Grades 5&6

In This Issue: Post-It Note Turns 30, Apple Investments, Small Horse 
An Idea That StuckMention the words Walkman and VHS tapes to your child and likely you'll be rewarded with a blank stare. Say something about a Post-it note and you may get somewhere. This month the Post-it turns 30, and even after all these years the low-tech desk staple has remained among the top five best-selling office supplies in the U.S. The handy yellow notepads emerged from teamwork and creativity; after one scientist discovered a formula for sticky stuff that could be repositioned time and again, the other decided to use it to keep a bookmark in place. Voila and Aha! The Post-it was born.  
Activity Ideas - Language Arts
  • You will need 10 Post-it notes for this activity. Set aside the first five, and write one moderate to difficult vocabulary word on each.
  • Write each word's definition on the remaining five. 
  • Stick the definitions to various surfaces in one or two rooms.
  • Give your child the five words. Challenge him or her to match up each word with its definition.
  • Variation: Match each word with its synonym or antonym.  
Bonus: Use Post-it notes to create an artistic masterpiece. Just imagine what Degas or Monet could have done with hundreds of little yellow squares!
Post-it Note to Self: See some interesting creations - Post-it Stop Motion Animation, Post-it Stop Motion Art  
Learning Tips:
Synonyms, Antonyms and Homographs
Tell your child's teacher about the Post-it Teachers' Activity Contest

Einstein and MomBig News: Little Horse

Don't call this newborn stallion horsey—dainty maybe or diminutive, even. A pinto stallion named Einstein weighed 6 pounds and measured only 14 inches tall at birth, which is considered small even for his miniature breed. The New Hampshire-born horse may soon hold the Guinness World Record for smallest newborn horse.

Activity Ideas - Math & Language Arts
Sure, Einstein looks tiny in photos, but to truly get a sense of what a lightweight he is try these activities:
  • Measure and mark 14 inches on a large sheet of paper. Using the paper (or a ruler for approximate height) find things in or around your house that are about as tall as Einstein.
  • How light is 6 pounds? Find objects of similar weight (A stack of books? A bag of canned goods?), to see what it would feel like to hold Einstein. 
  • Based on some of the examples you found, use figurative language to describe the tiny horse. (For example: Einstein is like a newly planted tree—short and struggling to find his footing among taller, older peers.)
Bonus: Visit the Guinness World Records site. Some of the records are highly unusual—largest bamboo dance, anyone? Using some of the more unbelievable examples from Guinness, come up with a list of records—some real, some not—and challenge family or friends to identify real from fake.
Watch Einstein in motion at Kideos.
Einstein's Baby Photos

Experiencing iRegret

Apple shares hit an all-time high of $272.18 on April 23, a few ardent iFans started to rethink their early purchases; one noted that if a person who bought an original iPod in 2001 had used the $499 to buy Apple shares instead, he or she would currently have $14,513.78. A student at UC Berkeley decided to calculate buyers' regret spanning 13 years of products. 

The following figures come from the Berkeley student's calculations, representing 
the money that consumers could have made if they had bought Apple stock instead of PowerBooks, iMacs, desktops or other gadgets. 
1. Apple PowerBook G3 250, purchased in 1997 for $5,700; if that money had been invested in the company stock, it would have grown to $330,563.  (5,700% increase)
2. Power Macintosh G3 266 Desktop, 1997 for $2,400: $139,185.  (5,700% increase) 
3. iMac G4/800, 2002 for $1,999: $69,231.  (3,363% increase)
4. iPod Nano 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 2005 for $149: $829.  (456% increase)
5. iPod Shuffle 2G (Silver) 1GB, 2006 for $79: $295.  (273% increase) 

Activity Ideas - Math
Calculate the percentage difference for the above by subtracting the original price from its current worth, then dividing the difference by the original value. We've done No.1 to help get you started:
$330,563 - $5,700 =  324,863
$324,863 ÷ $5,700  = 5.70  
5.70 x 100 = 5,700%

Learning TipsBreaking Down a Complex ProblemPercentage

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