Graphing Stories In Illinois

Most fun I’ve had all weekend is reading Jackie’s write-up of her class’ experience with that Graphing Stories unit I put together last school year.

We haven’t formally talked about slope yet, as for right now, we’re going for a more intuitive approach. I want them to understand slope as a rate of change, as opposed to thinking about slope as “m”.

It seemed only natural to toss in Dan Meyer’s Graphing Stories, so I brought it up during PLC time a few weeks ago. The other teachers loved it. Thus, Dan made an appearance in each of our classrooms this week. One teacher passed him off as her husband – she told her students they spend their weekends making math movies.

She shows me up, though, drawing a lot more discussion out of it than I did with my own lesson. (Heh … whoops.) She showed the one where I walk down the stairs …

… and had kids come up and draw the answer on the whiteboard. The first student didn’t account for the time my elevation was constant.

At that point, I jumped back in to help direct the conversation (some of them still try to get their points across by TALKING LOUDER). After a few minutes of discussing the first answer, we watched it a couple of more times. Then someone else volunteered to put up another.

Kids arguing over math. Man … I remember that. Can’t wait for that unit now. It’s gonna come earlier this year since this year I won’t spend three weeks getting knocked around trying to introduce it traditionally.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.

1 Comment

  1. Yeah, I too love the kids arguing over the math, puts a smile on my face every time. As for me showing you up – nah, never, no way. I just took your outstanding creation and ran with it.

    Guess what they asked about on Friday? Finding the slope of a curve. Now if you could make a movie about that…

    Thanks again.