5th Grade Honors Math

Dear Families,

Welcome to the Project M3 unit, Record Makers and Breakers: Analyzing Graphs, Tables, and Equations. Our class is looking forward to working with concepts of algebra, especially as it pertains to analyzing change. We will be looking at a variety of world records and may even try to set a record of our own. Throughout this unit, students will be learning algebraic concepts that will be useful not only throughout high school and college mathematics classes, but also throughout their lives.

In the first activity, students will be interpreting points on a graph that represent heights and average points scored for a variety of NBA players. This may be harder than it sounds because heights are represented on the x-axis instead of the y-axis. You might ask your student for a look at the NBA Star Stats graph in the Student Mathematician’s Journal to try this yourself and/or encourage your student to create a new graph using stats from the Women’s National Basketball Association. In the second lesson, students will be looking at one of the world records set by Ashrita Furman, who holds the most (and some of the craziest) world records of anyone alive. This activity looks at Furman’s initial record-setting time for pushing an orange with his nose for a mile in Terminal 4 in New York’s JFK airport. Students will get a chance to try a small part of this themselves as they graph and analyze the results for their own orange nose push. Later in the first chapter, students will continue to investigate and analyze graphs and tables of wacky world records. Throughout this chapter, they will be recognizing and analyzing relationships between independent and dependent variables and using graphs and tables to determine whether a situation describes constant change. During these investigations, students are constantly trying out strategies, seeing if they work, and then revising to get the correct answer. In fact, they are working just like mathematicians.

In the second chapter, students will continue to analyze change and will write recursive and explicit rules to describe constant change in additional crazy world records, such as one set by Remy Bricka walking across the Atlantic Ocean. They will expand their understanding of algebraic concepts as they analyze graphs and tables showing different rates of change and different starting points, and use proportional and algebraic reasoning to solve equations in situations involving two equations with two unknowns. Again, they will be working just like mathematicians. The unit will end with a project in which the students attempt to set their own record. Please help them in keeping track of their progress toward this record.

At the heart of all Project M3 investigations are problem solving, reasoning, and creative thinking. When students use these mathematical practices, they think and act like mathematicians. This helps them gain a deep understanding of the mathematics and develops their mathematical talent.

I hope your child enjoys exploring this unit and the mathematical challenges it poses. I invite you to share in the discoveries your child makes by engaging in conversation around the family dinner table. You may even learn something new about algebra from your young mathematician!

Sincerely,
Mrs. McGee