Thursday, November 3, 2016

Nestle & Water Consumption, Eco Club activities, looking at decimals through Athletics, Lao Tsu and wisdom on catching up on some homework

Nestle and water consumption

We are currently looking at the conversion among different units in the Metric system.  Just before Halloween, an issue was raised about some of the corporate tactics of Nestle and I knew I had some information about the issue of the number of litres the corporation extracts from the water table.

First, though, what is the water table?

So, now to the CBC story on Nestle's bottling and some interesting statistics on the volume of water which is taken up on a daily basis.

It mentions that Nestle extracts over 3 million litres of water/day.  For each million litres of water, Nestle only pays about $3.71.  Even with the seemingly cheap cost of plastic bottles at our local supermarket, it would cost close to $250 000 to purchase that much water.

A million litres is almost unimaginable.    How much water is that?  Well, 1 000 000 L is close to the volume of water in this aquarium, known as the AquaDom, in a hotel in Berlin, Germany.
In the following photo, Eco Team member, Charlie Cash explains to the class about the research into the number of non-reusable (plastic) water bottles that we go through.  The club is attempting to track these bottles, so we might qualify for a water bottle filler.  

Decimals in the world of Sprinting

As I mentioned earlier, the issue of decimal place value will be one of our areas of focus.  In grade 6 we go to the third decimal point, or the thousandths place.  For example:


This is not a random number, I selected to show how two athletes had their 100m times recorded as this at the World Track and Field Championships in Beijing in 2015 (this was based on a story from the Toronto Star (  Still, I am a little confused why the official results rounded the final time to 9.92 seconds, if we are following the rules for rounding.

In sprinting, athletes can finish so close to one another.  In that same race, Usain Bolt only won by 0.01 of a second!  This is called a photo finish

The official results, complete with reaction times to a thousandth of a second.

Here is the actual race:

Over the next few days, we will do some walking and measuring, in and out of class, to get a sense of how long or far things are.

I was just looking at the Homework chart and making note of the work they have to catch up on.  It may seem a little daunting, but as the Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu mentioned:

Laso Tzu from:

For a number of students, the challenge rests with developing a system to help themselves.  The easiest one, I believe, is to use the agenda that you paid $5 for.

Keep track of the work you are supposed to complete, so it does not run away from you.  As I have mentioned, incomplete does not disappear or go away, it simply piles up and has a way of overwhelming you.

Take one thing at a time and think of it as a step in your journey in Grade 6.

There are times where students have completed work, but I may not have marked it as complete.  The positive thing about our classroom homework is for students to keep me on point.  Sometimes, students may have forgotten to give things in, which is also part of the pile of items you see in the following picture.

The purple Post-it notes let me know what things were completed.  Once I check the work, I will update the Homework chart.  This will allow me to have a more accurate reflection of work completed for the upcoming Progress Reports.