Thursday, August 13, 2015

Learning While Away...Part 1

Recently I shared with you all about a trip I had to take out of the country. My grandmother had fallen ill and we were just not sure if she was going to make it. I flew out with barely any notice and definitely no time to leave behind a detailed lesson plan. This would be learning on a whim! A laminated map of the USA and Mexico, a ruler, some pencils and we were ready for lesson one. For this lesson we would map out the trip from Rockford, IL to Aguascalientes, Mexico, the final destination.
The first task was to map the trip as it was taken from start to finish, the departure in one color and the arrival in another color. Next, was to find the key on the map and find out how many miles each inch was, then they had to begin calculating distances. Needless to say that flying out of the country will less than 48 hours notice, often times is in the thousands of dollars, I had to keep that fee as low as possible. We ended up having to drive 5 hours to Des Moines, Iowa for a better fare.

1. The children had to calculate the driving distance from our home to the airport.
2. They had to find out how many miles per gallon our car got and how much we spent on gas.
3. They had to find out how much we spent on gas & how many miles we drove to get to the airport.

The math for this leg of the assignment was difficult for the youngest, but it gave an opportunity for the 2 oldest to teach him and show him how to do it in different forms.  Next, it was time to board the plane and travel from Des. Moines, IA on to Dallas, TX. For this part of the assignment, they had to do a little Math, Geography and Research.

1. Calculate the amount of miles I would earn on my credit card from this flight for Math.
2. Fill in a blank USA map on the states that were travelled through to get to Dallas. During this point, they also had to fill in the capitals of each state.
3. Do a little research on what is one thing that state is famous for and or what they export.
Finally it was time to head into Mexico from Dallas and Mexico too is divided into states, so this portion of the trip was an interesting learning experience.

1. Calculate the amount of miles from Dallas, TX to Aguascalientes, MX.
2. Fill in a blank MEXICO map on the states that were travelled through to get to Aguascalientes and also list their capitals. This would have to be done through teamwork and research as I knew they did not know much about the country as a whole.
3. Do some research as to one thing each state is famous for and or what they export.

After a very long 26 + hours of flying and travelling there was plenty of learning going on too. At the end of this lesson, they had to total up the miles travelled all together and all states both American and Mexican that were passed through. The states were put on flashcards for future reference and the miles were kept written on the map on each leg of the trip with the total at the bottom.
Next up in this series is a lesson in changing money and buying things. Having the ability to do the math on vacation for exchange rates is such a necessary thing, that they must test their mental math abilities.
Enjoy every minute my friends!

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