Day 59: Gettin’ Triggy with Hedbanz

I needed a fun but meaningful way to practice writing equations for sinusoidal functions. I found this idea last year for practicing quadraticspracticing linears and practicing rationals.  I figured I could adapt it for trig functions but I just didn’t have the energy to put it together.  This year I was determined to get it done!


So what is this fabulous activity, you say?  Have you heard of the game, Hedbanz: The Quick Question Game of What Am I? The basic premise for kids try to guess the object that is in their headband based on clues from other players. When I announced that we were going to play Hedbanz, my students were utterly goofy in their excitement.

Initially, I thought I could use Infinite Algebra 2 by Kuta Software to quickly generate graphs.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t control the attributes nor the way graphs were drawn (all horizontal scales were in π forms and max/mins were not easy to determine).  They just didn’t fit what I was looking for; that is, they just weren’t “friendly” enough for this high-paced activity.  I then perused various precalculus books looking for good graphs that students could somewhat readily determine the critical attributes.  I found 32 different graphs, some in radians, some in integer form with clearly determinable extrema.

hedbanz3.vs. hedbanz2

To put together the game, I made the graphs approximately the same size, printed them, cut them out and glued them to different colored 3 x 5 index cards, in groups of 4, although I didn’t end up using the cards as a group activity.  I numbered the cards 1 – 32 on the back of the graphs.  I also found sets of 8 neon colored girls elastic headbands for $1 at our local dollar store, so I bought 5 sets for a total of 40.  I also made a set of answers that I posted at the front of the room for students to self-check.


The kids just loved the activity and the face-to-face discussion was awesome.  I heard things like: “what’s my amplitude/” “what the period?” “what’s the phase shift if I want to write a cosine function? “Hey, the amplitude is NOT the maximum value…you made me get this wrong!”

Sam Shah has the most detailed approach to using this type of activity with your students.


Posted on December 3, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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