Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Monday, March 2, 2015

Cross-Curricular Project: Budgeting and Consumerism.

Project: The Ultimate Vacation
Due Date: Friday, March 20th
Great South Australian Coastal

Scenario: Your family of three has just won a trip to anywhere in the world, and you’ve decided you’re going to Australia!  Together, you’ve been given $24,040 to spend on your travel.  You are going to be gone for a total of TWO WEEKS, and have decided to be there sometime during June and/or July.  

While there, you must plan out what you are going to be doing every day, and spend as MUCH of your $24,040 as possible.  You are not allowed to spend more than that amount.  You don’t want to be putting this vacation on a credit card!  

Part 1 - Budgeting Your Trip - Do This Part First!
Complete on lined paper.  Label and show your work.  Take a snapshot of your work and insert it into the Google Classroom Assignment.

A. Your family of three has been given $24,040 to spend on a trip to Australia.  The only problem is, this money is in AMERICAN currency and not Australian.  How much is $24,040 worth in AUD (Australian Dollar)?  Show your work as to how you would convert this amount.  

B. Traveling to Australia is NOT cheap.  You have budgeted spending 25% of your money saved for this trip on travel.  How much money does this come to?

C. You are going to be in Australia for a total of 2 weeks.  After taking off 25% of your money for travel,  about how much money should you spend a day (to make sure that you don’t run out of it)?

Part 2 - Travel/Lodging/Expenditures
Where are you going to stay?  How are you going to get there?  When are you going to leave?  When are you going to come back? What are you going to do?

~Make a copy of this spreadsheet template (File --> Make a Copy), and share it with your group members.  On your spreadsheet, track ALL of your expenses (travel, hotels, expenses, food, etc)
~For flights, I’d recommend  
~For hotel,
~For food, budget $25.00 per day, per person.  
~Looking for things to do in Australia? Let Me Google That For You...  
~Any “work” that you do for the project MUST have a snapshot of it inserted onto the 2nd page of the Google Spreadsheet.  

Part 3 - Mapping Your Trip
Using, map your trip using Placemarkers and lines.  Submit a link to your map in Google Classroom once it is completed.  

On each Placemarker, put down the total cost of that event.  Insert images, videos, and maybe a sentence or two.  

You are going to be gone for a total of TWO weeks (don’t forget to include travel in those two weeks!).  

Part 4 - The Really Fun Part
Once the spreadsheets and maps are completed, I’m going to share them with some educators I know down in Australia.  They are then going to pick the one trip that they feel like does the best job of seeing the most of their country’s culture, history, food, and fun.  

Monday, February 23, 2015


Students and Parents,

I was given the privilege this past weekend to attend and speak at a conference out in San Francisco, California.

If you don't know where that is, here's a map...

I learned some great new approaches to using technology in the classroom, and also some fun new websites that I can't wait to share with you all (For example, check out "Wonderopolis")

I should've been back by today, but my connecting flight through Dallas, Texas got cancelled due to bad weather!


On the plus side, in between days at the conference I was able to make my way around the Bay Area to see the sights.  Check out some of these pictures!

Here's the Golden Gate Bridge at night...

I had a few hours one afternoon, so I went and hiked around some Redwoods.  These are some of the world's tallest and oldest trees -- some over 2000 years old!

I was so close to the Pacific Ocean, and I kept waking up at 3am (thank you, jet lag), that I figured I could swing by the coast one morning to take a look.  Note: the sand and water were VERY cold!

Flying back... check the snow underneath us!


Lastly, I know that many of you have finished your Minecraft/Volume project (and THANK YOU so much for still getting that done on time!), but I have decided to make the final due date for the project be this Wednesday, February 25th.  With us being out all last week and having limited Internet access, I figure that is a fair time to have the finished project due.  However, please let me know if you still need additional time/help/etc. 


~Mr Piercey
Eminence Independent Schools
Google Certified Teacher
Follow Me on Twitter @MrPiercey

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Volume Project

Volume Project
Due Friday, February 20th
Part 1: Construction of Rectangular Prisms

Part ONE of this project can either be done via the game Minecraft, the blocks in Mr. Piercey’s classroom, OR any square unit cubes that the student has at home.
Students may work in partners for part one if they choose.  Please note that if two students work on a project, however, the expectation is that BOTH students will contribute equally to the completion of the project.  One student cannot be the only one doing the work for this project.

Task: Build the following rectangular prisms.  Make sure they are all clearly labeled with the following:

Polyhedron Letter ____ Length: ____ Width: ____ Height: ____ Total Volume: ____

  1. Construct a rectangular prism that has a total volume of 50 cubic units.
  2. Build a rectangular prism that has a height of 5 units, a width of 3 units, and a length of 7 units.  
  3. Construct TWO different rectangular prisms that both have a volume of 40 cubic units.  However, they must each have different dimensions (length, width, height).  
  4. The base of rectangular prism D has a total surface area of 12 square units.  It has a height of 7 units.  Construct it.  
  5. Rectangular prism E has a height of 10 units and a width of 4 units.  It’s total volume is 80 cubic units.  Construct it.   
  6. Construct a rectangular prism which has dimensions DIFFERENT from any of the others on this list.  It’s total volume > 20 cubic units.  
  7. Create a polyhedron that has a volume of 60 cubic units.  It can NOT be a rectangular prism.  
  8. Optional: Construct three rectangular prisms, each with different dimensions (L x W x H), that have a total combined volume of 104 cubic units.  

How to Show/Share Your Constructions
If you used Minecraft to complete the project…
~ Using a screencapture tool, record a screencast of you showing the different rectangular prisms you created.  This can be uploaded to a private Youtube channel and then emailed to Mr. Piercey’s email (
~ Take screenshots of your rectangular prisms.  Make sure I can see the length, width, and height of them all.  This may require multiple pictures of each polyhedron (3D shape).
~ If you complete the project on an iPad/Android tablet, take screenshots of your rectangular prisms.  Email these to Mr. Piercey at  
~ You can also bring your iPad/Android tablet in to school to show Mr. Piercey your construction.  Note: you are responsible for taking care of your device if you bring it to school.  
~ Other methods are also acceptable!

If you used the cubes in Mr. Piercey’s classroom…
Create a Google Doc and take pictures of your constructions using your computer’s webcam.  Rename the Doc “Your name -- Volume Project”.  Make sure each picture is clearly labeled, and then share it with   

Part 2 - Recording your Data
There is a spreadsheet template in Google Classroom.  Record the following information on it BEFORE pressing the “Turn In” button.

~ The total volume of each prism you constructed in Part 1.  
~ The expression you used to determine each volume (L x W x H)
~ A snapshot of your work.    

Part 3 - Written Responses
Answer the following written responses IN COMPLETE SENTENCES on a sheet of graph paper.  

  1. Explain how to determine the volume of a rectangular prism.  
  2. How are VOLUME and AREA similar?  How are they different?
  3. If a rectangular prism has a height of “n” and a base of 20 cubic units, write the expression you would use to determine the total volume of the prism.  
  4. Look at rectangular prism B that you created in Part 1 of the assignment.  What is it’s TOTAL SURFACE AREA?  
  5. Explain how two polyhedrons (3D shapes) can have different dimensions (L x W x H) but still have the same volume.   

Part 4 - Optional Bonus

With your parents’ supervision, create an object which has a total volume of EXACTLY 60 cubic inches.  

~Mr Piercey
Eminence Independent Schools
Google Certified Teacher
Follow Me on Twitter @MrPiercey