Thursday, October 29, 2015

Day 41: Guess my Number & Taco Cart

Today's estimation was how high is the giant wheel? It's a huge ferris wheel, with Mr. Stadel standing at the bottom. We confronted the mistake of multiplying his height 6 foot 4 inches as 6.4 feet. It still ends up helping you make a reasonable estimate. Some students reasoned to use 6 foot and 1/3 then use distributive property. Others said round up to 6 foot 6 inches which is 6.5 feet.

I passed back assessments and went over the grading rubric. Some students were out on a drama field trip. Then we played guess my number. This is a great activity because it starts off easy with one solution. Students were eager to convert them into equations. Some great conversations were had with the equation with infinite solutions. Some classes told me one answer. Then I asked if anyone had a different answer. So, we proved that there were two solutions and more. So, they said it must be all solutions. I asked them how many and they told me infinite solutions. It leaves you with x=x and eventually 0=0 which means that there are infinite solutions. The next example had no solution. They said there was no solution because the variables end up getting canceled out and you're left with a false statement.

Then I did community building. It was entertaining and we got to learn about one person in more detail in each class period. Then they worked on some practice equations. I instructed students to write it down and ask the group, so what do you think we should do for our first step? I wanted them to work together and most did. I wrote up the first 4 problems and had volunteers come up and solve them on the board. Some were brave enough to come back up and explain their steps. I had to explain some people's steps that were too shy.

I told students that I was going to a funeral tomorrow and that they would be completing a sheet called Mystery Numbers then would put up the privacy folders and be given 25 minutes to work on the weekly assessment.

In accelerated, I spent a bit more time going over the answer key to their test. Some students are having trouble writing a linear equation given slope and a point, and making some mistakes when only given two points. A lot of students forgot what strength meant when drawing a line of best fit through data.

After discovering the patterns of side lengths that form triangles, and the area of squares that formed acute, obtuse, and right triangles, I introduced Dan Meyer's Taco Cart task. I explained the format of the 3 act lesson below:

Here are all of the questions they came up with. They didn't end up getting the main question until later:

Why do you think you walk faster on the ground?
What’s the distance between the person’s starting point and the taco cart?
How fast do you go on the street and how fast do you go on the sand?
Are they taking any breaks? (no)
Are they walking the same speed?
Are they walking at a constant speed? (yes)
Can you run?
Is the taco cart going to move? (no)
Are there any obstacles in between you and the taco cart?
What is the distance between the starting point and the road?
Can I see a scale map and layout?
Does the road have vehicles on it? (I hope not)
How much time did it take for each person to finish?
How far is it from the point from where you get to the side walk to the cart?
Who gets to the taco cart first, Ben or Dan?

I made the questions that I would answer a bigger font, and answered some as I wrote them on my Google docs document. Then, in Act 2 I gave them information they asked.

All students were truly engaged in the process. I had one student who got it help me walk around confirming if others had understood it.

The main goal was to ask students questions that helped them improve the detail of their work with units and labels so that anyone who didn't understand the problem could get it from looking at their work.

One aspect I overlooked was letting students keep their answer in seconds. I should have asked them for minutes because that brings another conversation about converting decimal minutes into minutes and seconds. I will revisit that at some point.

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