I totally stole this from Fawn Nguyen last week. I'm doing a review of linearity with my Algebra 2 kids; we just went over point-slope form. At this point we normally jump into a study of the gender gap - pay inequality between men and women workers in the U.S. However, this gem was just too much fun to pass up. I even went to the store to buy more pull back toys for my kids (4, 2.5, 4 months) so I could use them in math class. (Good Daddy and good teacher at the same time--2 for 1!)
The data was all over the place. I had hoped the distances would be somewhat linear but that didn't quite happen. It will never be said of my children's toys that they were anywhere close to being consistent. Students did a great job of analyzing the data and trying to find something that works.
When the bell rang for the end of class we were still finishing our races. Not one student made a move for the door or even packed up their stuff. That's a good day in math class!
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I teach Math and Programming at Summit Middle School in Boulder, CO.