Why Dan Meyer will always be a math family favorite.
Dan Meyer’s famous Graphing Stories continue to be useful to me as a high school algebra teacher as I move more into inquiry based learning to engage my students. Here’s an example of how students can develop Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for algebra while they develop collaborative skills for our high-tech society. 1) I played the graphing story Elevation vs. Time and had students draw rough estimates of the graph as Dan suggested. 2) Then I provided equations for the piece-wise function in scrambled order, one per pair. 3) Students went to Desmos.com (one computer per pair), most of them for the first time. 4) As a class, we discussed and graphed the first line segment or two, and they crossed those off their scrambled list. Then they took turns entering line segments to complete and share their graphs with me.
Objectives: introducing piece-wise functions and relating them to line segments, writing intervals with inequalities, relating slope to a segment of a piece-wise function, slope as an average rate of change, associating a constant equation with a horizontal segment, introducing Desmos and encouraging creative exploration. Students who finish segments 1-7 early can experiment by trying to generate the “hop” at the end.
Standards for Mathematical Practice: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
21st Century skills: Communication, collaboration, critical thinking (may also include creativity as students begin to explore Desmos
DOK: 1-4 (low floor, high ceiling) depending upon how far a student develops the seed thoughts
ISTE: At a minimum: empowered learner, knowledge constructor, computational thinker. Depending upon how far a student develops seed thoughts, innovative designer, creative communicator, and global collaborator.
At the end of the activity, I showed them a picture of the code behind this blog and explained that I use Google to find HTML code that I can use to tweak formatting. The thought processes are the same: