Students chose between 3 options:
1) creating letter patterns,
2) exploring Lego staircases, and
3) learning to program a TI84 graphing calculator.
We did a project day in Algebra yesterday. Students chose between 3 options: 1) creating letter patterns, 2) exploring Lego staircases, and 3) learning to program a TI84 graphing calculator. Letter Patterns More than half my class decided to work on making letter patterns. Each student worked on 3 different lettersfiguring out how to make the letter out of squares (mostly) and then enlarge them. They did great! Students who normally struggle with math got a chance to showcase their other strengths. When we presented our projects today in class, students who normally look at the floor and sink into their chairs when I ask for volunteers were excited to share what they did. I can think of an interesting extension of this project. Instead of having students create equations for their own letters on the sheets, I would have students create equations on a separate piece of paper. Then have students trade papers and create equations for each others' patterns. Practice with creating equations from patterns and tablesdone. Lego Steps 3 students went for playing with Legos. They worked together as a group exploring how the number of bricks relate to surface area and volume. Surface area almost ended this group. When I walked by, they were staring blankly at the paper and the pile of Legos. I gave a little support and asked some leading questions to get them started. After that, they were off and running. Programming Graphing Calculators in BASIC I had 4 freshman boys giddy with excitement that they were going to learn how to program something. I spent most of my time holding the hands of this group as we walked through the syntax of BASIC and the concept of ifthenelse statements. Throughout the day today, I had conversations with each student at least once with their calculator in hand asking how they could either fix or extend their program.
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Andrew Busch
I teach Math and Programming at Summit Middle School in Boulder, CO. Categories
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August 2018
