Great Classroom Action


It’s summer break here in North America so there’s very little classroom action, much less great classroom action. Let me take advantage of the lull and empty out the links that collected in my link trap last winter.

Bryan Meyer asks what you do when your students get into a math fight:

There was a big controversy about whether or not we should count 1+2 and 2+1 as two different options or if we should just count them together as one option. [..] Neither side was willing to budge, so I suggested we conduct a huge experiment with lots of trials across all three of my classes so that we could put the results together and see what conclusions we could draw.

Tom Ward asks a question that’s strangely compelling, “Should you drive or fly?

So now, instead of simply plotting flight cost vs. distance, we’ll also plot driving cost vs. distance, helping us find the answer to the question above. A couple plots, a couple lines of best fit, an intersection representing a break even point and yes, you can use this in real life.

Scott Farrar wins the Emmy for best graph.

Heather Kohn creates a ruckus in homeroom with the jelly bean guessing contest:

All eyes were on the board as I highlighted the data, clicked the insert tab, and chose the first scatterplot option. There were many “What?! How?!” comments as students digested the graph before them. They immediately wanted to know if the graph would always be in that shape, and this led us into our discussion of graphing absolute value functions and describing their characteristics (over the next two class periods).

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. Thank you for sharing the graph! I’ve done the volume activity several times, but alas, never thought to put the actual formations on the board to illustrate the graph. It makes a stunning display!