This question was recently posed to our Grade 4 students, and here is how they went about answering it…
As a class, they read the question and highlighted important information, deciding that first they needed to determine their class heart rate per minute. They calculated a class heart rate average and it came to 83 beats per minute. With this knowledge, the team groups begin their Investigative Research to solve the problem.
They took turns measuring and pouring 80 mL of water into a tub, while a team member marks off the tallies until 83 is reached. In the end, they needed to re-evaluate their strategies. At first a large tub of water was filled, but was too hard to visualize the amount of blood that circulates through the heart. The suggestion was made to use jars instead, with the addition of red food colouring for effect. They calculated that the amount of blood that pumps and re-circulates through our heart in 1 hour is 398 400 mL, which equals 398.4 L. Next, they needed to calculate the number of jars required. They determined that the jars hold 1.84 L of liquid, and that they would need 210 jars.
As an example of making learning visible, the visual impact of the jars in the hallway has captured the attention of all of our students, and so the learning continues beyond the classroom and has become the topic of many car ride discussions and dinner conversations among our families.
The Grade 4 students are currently in the process of developing their personal reflections about this learning experience and look forward to sharing them with you.