Monday, July 16, 2012

Made 4 Math Monday: Great Graphing Marathon and B-day Happies

Happy #Made4Math Monday!  This is week 2 for me and I am so excited about this week's math project that I actually started it LAST Monday:)  A few weeks ago, I generated a list of ideas for active lessons (in anticipation of moving to block next year).  At the time, I had become a bit obsessed over SuPER sizing activities, thus the Great Graphing Marathon was conceived.

Let me first say that my students are not huge fans of plotting points, translating parent functions, or graphing in general.  So, I knew I needed to make it more fun to reinforce and practice graphing.   I thought, "How much more FuN can it get to be TrAnsForMed into "MaRatHon MenTaLity" as we create life size graphs with the students as the ordered pairs?!?" In this activity, students will be given a race number when they enter the room and safety pins to adhere the numbers to the backs of their shirts (my friend CM would say my inner elementary teacher is showing again :) *Correction: numbers on which they can work the problems to be graphed on the back of the print out.
I will mark off a Cartesian plane with masking tape in our cafeteria (or chalk in the parking lot).  I have made up various functions that they will need to graph (quadratic, absolute value, and radicals, but anything would work) and I will show just one function at a time.  Students will plug their race number into the function and then graph themselves on the giant coordinate plane.  I realize some of the values will get pretty big and we will need to adjust how we count the marked squares. 
Click for Complete File
In the spirit of #Made4Math Monday, I have created and printed both the race numbers and the functionsgathered my safety pins, and will make medals to hand out after the Marathon. Fingers crossed that they will like it!

It felt so good to get Project #1 done, I whipped up a second project: birthday happies.  For me, students' birthdays can be stressful, in that, I always find myself scrambling around trying to figure out something cute to give each one.  I do really great through September and then, I fall prey to the busy-ness of work and the rest of the kids get nada (which makes it look like I only like the August and September kids :/ ) Project #2 solved the problem.  They are all getting pop rocks.    Here's what I came up with...
First, a trip to the dollar store (Note: They don't take Mastercard, but they gladly accept buckets of change.)

Cut colored tissue paper into thirds.

Wrap each pop rock package in the tissue paper and secure paper with tape.  I found the dark colored packaging on the pop rocks showed through the yellow tissue paper.  So, I ended up using two pieces for the yellow packages.

Wrap a piece of black card stock around the package and then wrap the birthday printable (made using Microsoft Office Publisher) on top of the card stock.  I cut out a black paper starburst and the word "ROCKS" and hot glued it to the front of the wrapper.  Now, no more BirThDay ScRamBLe!  


druin said...

Love the idea!!! Or you could tell them to graph the parent function of absolute value, then tell them to translate 3 units left and 2 units up, what's the new function? what fun!!!

Math-termind said...

I love the ideas of giving out birthday gifts and have been playing with doing so myself. Do you have a backup plan on birthdays for kids that may be diabetic?

Christy said...

This graphing activity sounds like lots of fun. Thanks for the idea. For years now I have been passing out free homework passes for birthdays...that way I am always prepared and everyone is treated the same- plus they love it! I also have the class sing Happy Birthday for the student. I add a second verse- "How old are you? How old are you? How old is ____? How old are you?" and then we all clap their age. I call it the math birthday song. We sing in my room a alot so they all love it. They especially love my birthday when we clap a lot!

Christy said...

I tried something very similar last year. I used masking tape on the floor and created this large cartesian plane. I was only able to get 1 class period to actually get up and do it. We were working on slope. I think seeing your post, I might try it again. I love your marathon theme!!

Cindy said...

Thanks yall for all of the comments and ideas!
Druin - Love the translation idea. I'll have to try it.

Math-termind, Yikes! I don't have a back-up plan! Do you have a suggestion?

Christy - the homework passes would be a hit! Great idea!

Christy 2 - A cartesian plane on the class floor? I am sure that came in handy many days! I am glad you are going to try again:)