Nelson EducationSchoolMathematics 7  
Web QuestsCHAPTER 4WORKING ON WASTE AT SCHOOL TASK CONTEXTStudents will use tables of values, models, and scatter plots as part of their strategy to solve problems related to a school vermicomposting program. GOALS7m66 identify the relationship between whole numbers and variables 7m67 identify, extend, create, and extend patterns using whole numbers and variables 7m69 apply and discuss patterning strategies in problemsolving situations 7m70 describe patterns in a variety of sequences using the appropriate language and supporting materials 7m71 extend a pattern, complete a table and write words to explain the pattern 7m72 recognize patterns and use them to make predictions 7m75 present solutions to patterning problems and explain the thinking behind the solution process
MATERIALSgrid paper a ruler coloured pencils a calculator
INSTRUCTIONAL PROCESSFROM STUDENT PAGE INTRODUCTION There are many different ways to take care of and protect the environment. What are some of the things you can do to preserve and protect the environment at home and at school? NOTES FOR TEACHER: Before each Internet session, it is always a good idea to check links to ensure they are still active. This Web Quest can be done pairs or in groups of three. As a class, read the Introduction. Brainstorm the different ways to protect the environment, such as recycling glass and paper, eliminating or reducing packaging, reusing objects, and cutting down on consumption. If students do not offer composting as an example, ask the class if they are familiar with it, and if not, describe what it entails.TASK Your class has been chosen to be the startup class for a vermicomposting program at your school. Vermicomposting means composting with worms. The principal of your school would like your class to do some Internet research on the subject and make a presentation using the data you find. You will need to find out the following:
Together, read through the Task section. Ensure that students are clear on what is expected of them. While students are working, interview and/or observe students to see how they are interpreting and carrying out the task.
QUESTION 1 Assign each group one of the six areas of focus to research. Stress that they should also have a general understanding of vermicomposting but only need to prepare a short report on the specific point. If groups will be presenting their findings orally, tell them to write the information in point form.
TIP: When you are looking for specific information on a Web page, scan the text instead of reading all of it from start to finish. To begin, do not read every word of the texts but look through them quickly. For example, if you are looking for information on what to feed worms, look at the section headings first and focus on sections that are related to this subject, such as a section titled "Feeding Worms". Summary of information on Web sites:
Encourage students to use the scan technique. Much of the information in these Web sites is repetitive and does not need to be read thoroughly.
QUESTION 2 Students may have varying responses for question 2, depending on how they interpret the problem. Students should be able to recognize the benefits of having several smaller boxes opposed to one or more large boxes in the classroom. All the Web sites provide information on the size of box needed based on the food consumption of a family. Students should be able to recognize that they would be producing less waste because they only eat one meal at school and no cooking waste would be going in the box. Sample question: "What are some of the advantages of using several smaller boxes in the classroom?" Sample Answer: It will be easier for someone to take the box home over the holidays and have enough food to feed them. If we have troubles with one box we will still have others to use and we won't be risking all our worms. If we have smaller boxes they will probably take up less room than one box. We know that:
We have chosen to have 3 boxes that are designed to be used by 46 people because I think this is the size of many families so they will be easy to use over the holidays, and that they are not too big for our classroom. We decided to have three boxes because we predicted that we would be producing about half the average amount of waste because we eat only one meal at school five days a week. We divided the number of students in half, which is fifteen, because it would be more likely we will be producing the waste of 15 people. The boxes are for 46 people and five divides easily into fifteen, giving a factor of 3, so we will need 3 boxes. We will need 6 kilograms of worms. We know that for a bin for 46 people you need between 1.5 and 2 kilograms. We have decided to use the maximum amount of worms in our bins, and since we will have 3 bins we will need 6 kilograms of worms to begin vermicomposting.
QUESTION 3 For extra support: Have students model problems or parts of problems using concrete materials. For example, provide coloured counters for Step 3, so students may use using a different colour counter to represent each classroom. For extra challenge: Have students extend their patterns further. Sample questions: "How are patterns useful in helping you solve these problems?" Patterns help me create organized lists, make predictions and generalizations and can save me time when making calculations. "What is a sequence?" A sequence is a list of items in a logical order or that follow a pattern. Sample Anwser:
The pattern rule for the sequence is multiply the number by two each time.
QUESTION 4 This question requires students to find two pieces of information found on two of the Web sites to solve the problem. Students will be working with an imperial measurement, as it is the only way the information is provided in the Web resources. Because this question involves several steps, most students will benefit from using the scaffolding, which will guide them through the initial steps of the problem. For a sample answer, click on this link, sample answer. Sample questions: "How do you use a scatter plot to make predictions?" You look at how the coordinates are placed on the graph and determine if there is a pattern. If there is a pattern then you can extend the pattern to make predictions. "Why do the coordinates in a scatter plot form a line?" Because the numbers we are using are in a sequence. For extra support: Provide students with scaffolding for Step 4. For extra challenge: Have students decide on a size and price for a bag of compost and have them calculate how much money they could generate from the sale of their worms' fertilizer of __ years/months. Sample questions: "Do you think there is another strategy for solving this problem?" "Did you make a plan before you started to make your calculations?"


