Monday, September 28, 2015

World Record Distance for Throwing a Fish at a Stop Sign

What is the world record distance for throwing a fish at a stop sign?   Hey, I don't think this stuff up.  But one of my students did.  Try to imagine a competition where everyone was seeing how far they could throw a fish to actually hit a stop sign.  One of my students was searching the internet to see if there were any sites that would have some data on this.   Unfortunately he couldn't find any data on this.  He moved on to a new idea.

Letting my students choose their own rates of change brought a huge amount of buy in.  The used their Chromebooks to search for data.  It was a blast. The students came up with many different ideas. For instance one student picked McDonald's hamburgers.  Did you know that from 1990 to 2013 the price of a hamburger has gone up 14 cents every year?  They OWNED IT.  They also took the time to figure out exactly what the rate of change meant.  I have always had a hard time teaching this.  But because they tried to find the data themselves the could communicate the idea of rate of change and what what happening over time.

White Sox Tickets anyone?   The ticket prices went up $1.02 each year from 1991 to 2003.

One student chose this.  (1950 year,  0 people living in Antarctica)   (1990 year, 0 people living in Antarctica)   0 people over 40 years.   Rate of change is 0 people per year.  Very Clever.  However, I told him he needed to find some information that gave a rate of change OTHER THAN ZERO.

So what did this lesson do?
Differentiation?   Yep
Student Choice?  Yep
Engagement and buy in?  Yep
Crazy Ideas?  Yep
Messy Numbers?   Yep
Fun for the teacher?  Yep

 Here was the original assignment.

Rate of Change Ideas for class

Here are the other postings.  We posted them to Padlet.