Ramona and the Fruit Flies: An Interdisciplinary Approach

By Mason, Marguerite; Lloyd, April K. | Teaching Children Mathematics, February 1995 | Go to article overview

Ramona and the Fruit Flies: An Interdisciplinary Approach


Mason, Marguerite, Lloyd, April K., Teaching Children Mathematics


Why does Ramona's teacher ask her students to keep jars of fruit flies? Third graders are always curious about Mrs. Whaley's assignment after reading Ramona Quimby, Age Eight (Cleary 1981). April Lloyd, a third-grade teacher at Burnley Moran Elementary School in Charlottesville, Virginia, decided to use this curiosity to introduce her students to the process of metamorphosis in insects and to the scientific method of experimentation, observation, and data collection. She described and posted her project on the computer network. Mrs. Lloyd invited others to join her class in replicating the experiment described in Ramona Quimby, Age Eight by giving their students an opportunity to decide for themselves what can be learned from a jar of fruit flies.

The Fruit-Fly Experiment

Students gathered and cleaned glass jars. They used oatmeal as a growth medium, dying it blue for contrast just as Mrs. Whaley's class had done. They put fruit-fly eggs and the growth medium into the jars, sealed them, waited, and observed. Each student had a copy of the class spreadsheet with an individual's line highlighted. They filled in their observation of how many flies were in their jar each day for ten days. After each day's results were entered and displayed, they discussed what they were seeing. For example, some students never saw any live flies in their jars and so entered all zeros. Other students entered zeros as their populations died. The class tabulated the column day by day to see a "class population" and tabulated each row to get an average number of flies for each person. The spreadsheet was posted on the network so that it could be shared with other classes participating in the experiment.

FIGURE 1

Posted spreadsheet data

Subject: Re: Ramona & the fruit flies
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 93 01:08:35 GMT
Organization: Virginia's Public Education Network (Charlottesville)

The following is the spreadsheet data for our experiment:

                    DAILY NUMBER OF FLIES OBSERVED

DAY           3     4    5    6    7    8     9     10     AVERAGE

NAME

Sky           0     0    0    0    0    0     0      0       0
Garise        0     1    1    0    0    5     3      0       1.25
Marqete      15    13    6    3    3   15    15     16      10.75
Sasha        10    12   10    8    6    0     0      0       5.714
Kelli        15    15   10   10   10    9    10     10      11.125
Brittany      0     0    0    0    6    7     8      8       3.625
Brian         4     2    1    0    0    7     9     10       4.125
Josh          9     3    3    7    7   11    11     10       7.625
Luke         15    14    3    2    2    2     2      5       5.625
Karli         3     4    2    0    4    6    10      9       4.75
Shannon       7     7    9   12   15   20    20+    20+     11.666
Jessica      15    13   12    7   15   13    10      5       1.25
Lavyn         6     6    4    3    3   10    12     12       7
Lisa          2     2    3    2    4    9    12     13       5.875
Shemeka      19    19    4    2    4   14    42     42       7.0551
Clare         5     5    5    5    1   11    14     15       7.625
Clare P      10    12   12   10    2   28    28     25      15.875
Abby          4     6    4    4    0    0     0      1       2.375
Jessica       4     3    0    0    0    0     0      0       1.125
Kim           2     4    3    0    0    0     0      0       1.125
Robert        1     2    1    1    1    4     4      3       2.125

Total/day   146   146   96   66   77   77   171    190

Students continually discussed what was happening in their jars. Occasionally, something they observed puzzled them and they used the network to seek answers. For example, the dialogue shown in figure 2 occurred between a third grader and a scientist at the University of Virginia who agreed to serve as a resource person for the experiment. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Ramona and the Fruit Flies: An Interdisciplinary Approach
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.