In this video segment from Cyberchase, the CyberSquad is trying to get to the Mother’s Day Harvest on the Madre Bonita Express train. However, Hacker has ripped out a piece of the train track, and the Cybersquad must use what they know about fractions, measurement and decimals to find a way to repair the track.
Investigations/Scott Foresman (2006)
Money, Miles, and Large Numbers
Investigation #2, Session 1-4, pp. 30-45
Here are some Frame, Focus and Follow-up suggestions for using this video in a math lesson.
What is Frame, Focus and Follow-up?
Frame: If you cut a string of licorice into ten equal parts and kept two of the pieces, what fraction would you use to describe how much of the licorice you kept? What decimal could you use to describe that same amount? Are decimals numbers? How and why are they used?
Focus: In this segment, the CyberSquad is trying to find the right size piece of railroad track to replace the one that Hacker ripped out. Unfortunately there are no pieces of track left that are the exact right size. What does the squad do to replace the missing piece? How did they use what they know about decimals?
Follow Up: What three decimals did the CyberSquad add together to figure out the correct size for the piece of the track? Could they have added fractions to solve their problem? How are fractions and decimals similar? How are they different?
JACKIE: Hello?!Hello? Anyone here? Hello?!
DIGIT: Deci, where are ya?!
MATT: No one’s here!
INEZ: Look, here’s a long rail! We can take one of these.
JACKIE: What if it’s too long?
DIGIT: What if it’s too short?
MATT: Look! This big ruler’s the same height as the rails. Let’s measure. He places his back to the stick. We need one of me...plus Inez...plus Didge! C’mon, Inez...stand on my head.
INEZ: (Effort sounds) Okay, I’m on!
DIGIT: I’m almost at the top!
JACKIE: You’re nine-tenths of the way up.
DIGIT: That’s right!
JACKIE: We only need part of one whole rail – a rail that’s nine tenths of it.
INEZ: Oh, hi, sir. Motherboard sent us to make sure the Madre Bonitas get delivered.
MATT: But Hacker ripped out a rail - and the train can’t get through!
DECI: So that’s what happened! Hmm, Mama won’t be happy about that. She expects her flower on Mother’s Day.
INEZ: Can you fix the rail?
DECI: The portal to ship out the Madre Bonitas is only half done - gotta finish that first. You kids will have to repair the rail.
JACKIE: We’ll try, Mr. Deci, sir. According to this ruler, we only need a fraction of the whole rail. Nine-tenths to be exact. Where do we find one?
DECI: Nine-tenths, you say, huh? I measure my rails with decimals! I live by decimals. Now listen up! This decimal designator and this ruler - are the same length as a standard rail. But my designator measures everything in decimals! So, to get your nine-tenths, you want a rail that’s decimal point nine long.
MATT: Check it out! Nine-tenths is the same as decimal point nine!
DECI: That’s affirmative, son! Put a decimal point in front of nine, and it means nine-tenths. Get my point?!
JACKIE: Yes, sir, Mr. Deci, sir. We get it.
DECI: Good! The rails are marked. Grab a decimal point nine and move out! I’ve got a portal to prepare!
KIDS: Point eight...point five...point three...
INEZ: I don’t see any point nine rails!
MATT: Me neither!
JACKIE: What am I gonna do? Oh man, I’m gonna have to go to the mall for a present!
DIGIT: Well, you can’t get to the mall if we can’t get to the flowers! And we can’t do that without a rail that fits!
JACKIE: Hmm, okay, let’s get a grip, Didge. We just need to think this out.
INEZ: Wait! What if we use some shorter rails and put them together? You know, like when we used ourselves to measure.
MATT: Why not? As long as the total adds up to point nine, we’re in the game!
INEZ/JACKIE/MATT: (Effort sounds)
INEZ: Okay, what do we have?
MATT: A point four, point three and point two.
JACKIE: Four and three and two...is nine! Point nine long! We’ve got it!
DIGIT: Whoa whoa whoa! You can add decimals together???
INEZ: Sure! Decimal are numbers too.
DIGIT: Hmmm, I’m startin’ to like these decimals!
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