Distance Graphs, CBL’s and real life

CBL’s are a great tool for teaching.  It being a real life application to math that students crave.
Today we used CBL’s to create distance versus time graphs.  I liked the activity that we did last week better- by creating real distance graphs.  Some of today’s graphs would not translate correctly to the real world and I think that it could mislead students in cross curricular activities.

We also used the the microphone piece to create notes and then used them to make songs.  This would be a great activity for students to understand the how to apply the graphing calculators.  I did an activity similar to this in my physics class, using tuning forks.  I think by making the students play a song at the end, it makes it more fun and lets them see the finished product. Sometimes I feel that the labs in Physics did not tie everything together nicely.  If I were to do this lab in my physics class, I would have each group play a song.
As far as my group project, we are done and I’m excited about that.


Graphing Calculator Cards

Last week we used the graphing calculator to graph graphs.  We made cards.  Although I knew how to do this previously, I liked this activity.  I think it makes students use their existing knowledge of graphs to be able to create new graphs.  This stretch learning can really help students explore mathematics.

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.

Just maybe……

So maybe…… I have actually found a reason to blog.

Now, it’s not that I’m against blogs- everyone knows I heart technology – it’s just that I write enough and just didn’t want one- I use enough social media (Twitter, FB, scoop.it, tumblr, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, etc)  who wants another site? BUT- I have been having a hard time trying to find something to replace VisualCV (though it might be working now?!?!?!)  Anyway- so I was going to tell you about my presentation last week on FIU Online’s Master Template- it went great- but maybe I’ll start posting my stuff…..just maybe….after this class is done and I can start fresh. 🙂  Oh- AND it will be written informally- with lots of “….”, “(  )” and “-” that I don’t get to use in my official APA school/work stuff.



Excel and Pairs Project

My group and I met today (via email) and we will not be using Excel in our Pairs Project.  Excel is very useful, however 1- we already decided what we were doing in previous class sessions and 2- Excel is probably not the best technology to tech geometry as there are better technology resources out there.

We will be using iPad Apps to teach parallel and perpendicular lines.  I am really excited about teaching the class with this technology because I think that many of our classmates do not know the full power of the “BYOD” movement and this lesson could be a huge eye opener and hopefully motivator!!

Two Dice Problem

Today in class we used Excel to solve the two dice problem.

Here are the parameters:

Each Player is given a Game Board consisting of 12 boxes numbered 1 to 12 as seen below.

2. Each Player is given 20 tiles to distribute among the boxes numbered 1 to 12.

3. Two die are rolled.  With each roll, each player can remove one tile that is in the numbered box that equals the sum of the die rolled.

4. How would you best distribute your tiles to be the first player with no tiles remaining on your game board?

With the help of my classmate Alexandra, I was able to decifier this spread sheet to determine the best distribution.

Note: Although Alexandra’s spreadsheet did help me ALOT, I was able to pair up with my partners to explain to them how to solve the problem.  And John and I discussed our plans for distribution and had some deep conversation.  There was a lot of collaboration in class today.

According to my calculations in FerrisTwoDice, my tiles would be laid out as follows:

1 – 0 tiles- there is no possible way to get a one

2 – 0 tiles – the probability of getting a total of 2 is 3% , I would not put any tiles here.

3 – 0 tiles – the probability of getting a total of 3 is 6% , I would not put any tiles here.

4- 1 tile – the probability of getting a total of 4 is 8% , I would take a small risk

5- 2 tiles – the probability of getting a total of 5 is 11% , I would take a little bigger of a risk

6- 4 tiles – the probability of getting a total of 6 is 14% , I would place more of my tiles in the 6,7,8 tiles.

7 – 6 tiles – the probability of getting a total of 7 is 17% , I would place more of my tiles in the 6,7,8 tiles.

8 – 4 tiles – the probability of getting a total of 8 is 14% , I would place more of my tiles in the 6,7,8 tiles.

9-  2 tiles – the probability of getting a total of 9 is 11% , I would take a smaller risk then the middle tiles.

10 – 1 tile – the probability of getting a total of 10 is 8% , I would take a small risk

11- 0 tiles – the probability of getting a total of 11 is 6% , I would not put any tiles here.

12 – 0 tiles – the probability of getting a total of 12 is 0% , I would not put any tiles here.

This would be an ok question for class to have students use probability to explain why they chose to place their tiles that way.  Having students play against each other to test their hypothesis would help them to understand better why or why not their choices were correct.

The alligator problem

The alligator problem:

An alligator’s tail length, T varies directly as its body length, B and an alligator with a body length of 4 ft has a tail  of 2.5 ft. so what is the tail length of an alligator whose body length is 4.8 ft?



Note:  I did not make this problem up, I saw it on an online IQ test and has sparked many conversations in my household.  When asked to create this blog, I found it here:  http://mathhomeworkanswers.org/23514/an-alligators-tail-length-t