Using the TI Ranger for Math (and Physics)

Today in class we worked with the TI Ranger for data collection.  Again, I didn’t really learn anything in class today, as I have used the Rangers in my class when I taught. And funny enough, I’ve used this activity.
One thing that I would add is when doing the first activity (graph matching), I would suggest using matchbox cars or balls to simulate motion rather than people.  When using people the ranger can pick up on different movement.  If you are using smaller objects, the ranger can “focus” on the object easier.
I did like talking about Physics in class today.  One of my favorite lessons is free fall due to acceleration (dropping the book and a piece of paper) and I feel that demonstrations like that help students to “see” what is going on.  I also found it interesting that the math teachers were making the connections in the graphs (ie velocity graphs plot the slope of the distance graphs) just like students will.  I know our professor made a comment that this was middle school level- but this activity can be used at almost every level- up to Calculus (ie the derivative of the velocity is the distance- so you could talk about the area under the curve).

The other thing is that when using TI’s labs, make sure that the activity has exact directions.  In my experience students have gotten frustrated if they were confused with the technology directions.

My group’s lesson plan is complete.  We have finished it- and are incorporating many different types of technology- including teaching and learning with the iPad.


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