Sunday, April 13, 2014

Rumors!

Rumors is another great lesson from Mathline! This lesson allows students to explore exponential growth, in the context of spreading a rumor. In addition to the focus on math concepts, this lesson can also help students to understand how quickly rumors can actually spread....an important idea for middle schoolers to consider.

To begin the lesson, students are presented with the following scenario:

"Two students who were both born on December 21st, the date of the winter solstice, decide that it would be great not to have to attend school on that day. Therefore, they start a rumor that schools will be closed to celebrate the winter solstice. So, on December 1st, one of the students told two of her friends that school would be closed. On the next day, each of these students tells 2 students and on consecutive days, each of the new students tells 2 more students and so on. If there are 8,000 students in the school district, the question arises as to whether the rumor was started early enough for everyone to have heard it?"

Students can act out this scenario by having students form a human triangle, with Student A first, then the two students she told (students B and C), then four students representing the two that Student B told and the two that Student C told, etc (as far as possible, depending on how many students in the class). This will help students visualize the problem and understand how this rumor is being spread. The triangle also help students to understand the growth pattern.

The human triangle will only go so far,  so students will then need to use their calculators or paper and pencil to find how many days it will take for the rumor to reach 8,000 people. I would recommend providing the students with a blank chart to give some structure to the students' work after they try the human triangle.

The chart below includes the first several days (the numbers for the entire chart can be found in the lesson).

Click to download blank Rumors chart
In addition to understanding exponential growth, students can be asked to determine the algebraic expression to describe the number of new people to hear the rumor each day (2n), as well as the  expression for the total number of people  (2n+1-1).

To read the full lesson and the possible extensions, check out the lesson here.




Tuesday, April 1, 2014

"It's No Joke" - Test-Prep Sweepstakes!


Click here to go to the giveaway.

There is a fantastic giveaway at The Language Arts Classroom, to help with your middle school and high school test-prep needs! There are resources for more than LA, so check it out and enter to win! Good luck!


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Undoing the Decorating

It's funny...at the beginning of the school year, and as the year progresses, we decorate our rooms with a variety of things. This year, I have added so many more math-concept related items in my room, thanks to the fantastic ideas I have seen on Pinterest. I often feel, though, that the students don't notice these posters, charts, etc, and that the things I've worked to create just kind of fade into the background.

BUT, as I've started taking things down as state testing approaches, it's been funny to hear the kids' comments as they come into the room. I had taken just a few items down on Thursday, and on Friday, I heard... "Mrs. N, your room seems strange," "Your room is weird today," "I can see the whole blackboard," "Why does it seem so empty in here," and so on.....I can't wait to hear what they say on Monday and Tuesday!

As we did some review yesterday, it was a little bit amusing to see the students look for the property posters on my closet doors and then seem a little distressed to find that they were gone. I don't think they realized how much they used them as a reference ......and maybe I didn't either.

The number lines aren't coming down until Monday afternoon - they take up so much space above my boards and it will look sooo empty without them. I know some people cover their items with other paper, but for me, it's just as easy to take them down and then put them back up.


Happy weekend!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Giveaway at More Than Math by Mo!

There's a giveaway at More Than Math by Mo, to celebrate her new blog design!  Enter for a chance to win some great products. Good luck!




Click to go to the giveaway!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Workin' On It Wednesday 3/19

What are you working on this week?  Link up below to share!

We have been working with ratios and proportions for several days; yesterday and today we worked on problem solving with proportions - challenging for some!

We will be ready to try the "Something Fishy" lesson soon...I think that this year's students are better prepared to fully understand the concepts in that lesson...we'll see.

Happy Wednesday!





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