Day 64: Ferris Wheel Matching
In precalculus today, it was time for students to work with a real-world application of sinusoidal functions while also engaging is sense-making discussion with their peers. I used the matching activity in an awesome Ferris Wheel Project I found at Mathematics Assessment Project: Assessing 21st Century Mathematics. The MAP project is a collaboration between the Shell Center team at the University of Nottingham and the University of California, Berkeley. There are lots of great Common Core based authentic lessons, so take a look.
The matching activity included three sets of cards: Card Set A: Graphs, Card Set B: Functions and Card Set C: Descriptions of Wheels. The students cut out the three sets of cards and began to match them. Interestingly, there were only 6 descriptions but 8 graphs and 7 equations (with a blank one for one graph that did not have a predetermined equation).
The discussions were fabulous and the support materials give teachers a guide for listening to student discussions and possible prompts and interventions that help but don’t inhibit the students’ sense-making. Many kids were up out of their seats to work together.
Many student groups thought they had the matching figured out and then realized that they had an equation that didn’t fit the graph after all and had to re-think their strategy.
The activity took approximately 30 minutes. I had an photo of the answers so the activity was also a “self-check.” Fun times and good learning took place.