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!”

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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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