Wednesday, October 2, 2013

DECOMP PROJECT: What Happened to the Rain?

Okay. What happened to the rain? June, July, and August on the east coast brought rain, rain, and more rain. September, on the other hand, proved to be quite dry—less than 2 inches of rain fell in my town. If your area was as dry as ours, don’t fret—you can use this information to address the much-discussed topic of climate change.
Now that the first month of record keeping for your decomp project is behind you, it’s time to read and interpret this data. Today’s post is mainly a suggestion for a direction to take with regards to using the data collected for the month of September. If your students are in kindergarten, then they will learn from this data at a different level than students in third grade. Think of this data as a teaching tool and modify these tools to suit the needs of your students.

All month your class has faithfully used the calendar to record the amount of rain that fell. Cover each block of the calendar with color-coded sticky notes, one to represent a day with precipitation, one to represent a dry day. 

1. Count the total number of days that received rainfall.
2. Count the total number of days in between each day that received rainfall. What was the longest time period without rain? The shortest?

3. Were there any weeks where no rain fell?
4. Remove the sticky notes and create a ratio chart. For example, for our area, it rained 3 days out of thirty: It was dry 27 days out of 30. For every day that it rained, there were 9 days that it didn’t rain.

3:30 (ratio of rain days to total days)

3: 9 (ratio of rain days to dry days)

5. Add the total daily rainfall totals to the sticky notes. Add the amounts to obtain the total rainfall for the month. Conduct an internet search to compare rainfall totals September 2013 with the average for the year. Here is a great link to find the totals.

Weather dot Com

Remember to continue adding rainfall to your indoor ‘rain gauge’.

Now that the record keeping is finished, why not head over to some of the other blog posts for Halloween fun and giveaways.

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