Monday, August 18, 2008

Math Monday: A Healthy Body

To keep with the Olympic theme, this week we will focus on keeping our badies healthy and in good working order.

To start our math this week, I will be working on taking one's pulse. Have the child find their pulse using their pointer and middle finger (the thumb has it's own pulse and can cause confusion) on either the inside of their wrist or along the side of their neck. This is good counting practice, but you can easily add in mulitplication, addition and subtraction, along with using a clock to time themselves. They can count for either a full minute or you can have them time for 15 seconds and then multiply by four to get their resting heartrate.

I will then have them exercise and we will take our pulse again and subtract our resting heart rate from that number to see how much our pulse increased after exercise.

This is also a good unit to introduce scales and weighing. Have your child step on a scale and read their weight. You can also convert their weight in pounds to kilograms (multiply by 2.2) or vice versa (divide by 2.2). You can also have them subtract their birth weight ( or last year's weight) from their current weight to see how much weight they have gained. You can also find objects that weigh close to what they weigh now or to what their birth weight was so they can actually visualize what that weight is.

You can also discuss calories and how they affect weight. Read some food labels (also a good way to divide and/or multiply to find # of calories per serving) and discuss how many calories they would need to burn in order to counter the caloric effect of the food.

We will also be making a healthy recipe of low-fat cheesecake this week:
This is adapted from a Pampered Chef recipe and is absolutely delicious. You
can use fat-free, low-fat, or regular ingredients, depending on your wants and
needs. I have made it with all fat-free products and it tastes just as good as
the full-fat version.

1 1/4 c graham cracker crumbs (if using homemade, this is about 9 full
1/4 c butter or margarine, melted
1 Tbsp sugar
3-8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1 c sugar
1/4 c all-purpose flour
3 eggs, room temperature
1/2 c sour cream
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
Fresh fruit for topping (can substitute pie filling, or hot fudge, or caramel,

1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, and
1 Tbsp sugar until well blended. Press mixture into bottom of a springform pan
and bake for 10 minutes. Remove to cooling rack.

2) Beat cream cheese, 1 c sugar, and flour at medium speed until smooth. Add
eggs, one at a time; mix at low speed just until blended. Stir in sour cream,
lemon juice, and vanilla. Pour filling into crust.

3) Bake 55-60 minutes or until center is nearly set when gently shaken (will
firm up as it cools). Remove to cooling rack and cool completely. Cover and
refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Release collar from pan. Top with
fruit and cut into wedges.

4) Enjoy!!!

This will give the kids practice measuring and the opportunity to discuss fractions when we serve it. For older kids, you could discuss geometry of a circle as well.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Hi Danielle,

I saw your blog on the RAHA email loop. I really like what you've got here! I think I would use this with my 3rd & 5th graders this year, it sounds like fun.

My only suggestion so far is that I would probably not use it on Saturdays or Sundays, but I'd like to have access to the Science lessons during the week.

Might I suggest switching Field Trip Fridays with Science Saturdays? I know the alliteration doesn't work out so well, but if we could do a science lesson on Friday and then take the field trip on the weekend, I think it would work better.

If not, I suppose we could wait until Monday to do science and then push everything else back a day.