Thursday 28 May 2015

MFM2P - Day 74: General Sherman Tree

We started with this warm-up:

I discovered many misconceptions my students had about buying and leasing cars. One student worked out how much it would cost to buy it and was shocked that it didn't work out to $19 000. You will see interesting things in their work:

The third group was trying to figure out how many miles you would need to drive for the prices to be the same. There was a lot of good discussion that came out of this warm-up (which you don't see here). At the very least my students now have some idea of the difference between leasing and buying.

Next, I showed them this picture:

I put them in (not-so-random) groups and gave them these instructions:

Each group worked on a whiteboard and was given 6 squares (-ish) of one colour of paper and an envelope (which stayed with the whiteboard):

They took the squares of paper with them as they went around the class to read each other's questions and choose the best one from each group. Here are their questions:

Lots of good questions, and very few off-topic ones. We did not really come to a consensus on the best question so I steered them toward the group that had "How much wood would you get from it if you chopped it down?". I asked what information they needed and they said they needed the circumference, the height and the weight. I asked why we needed the weight... and we decided that we didn't. I showed them this:

We had 15 minutes left so they had to individually figure out how much wood they would get out of this tree. Some wanted to know more about what the product would be - firewood, 2' by 4', etc. I told them they could choose. Many had trouble starting so I asked what shape the tree was, which was enough to get them going. They didn't like not having one diameter to work with - I did like that they had to make decisions and provide support for those decisions. And I didn't let them leave until they were able to hand in some work.

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