Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The World's Largest Ball of Twine

I just got done attending an AWESOME online session at #globalmath with Dan Meyer, Andrew Stadel and Chris Robinson. The session was on Three Act Math Tasks - there is a set up (video, picture) and questions posed, list of what is needed and math to be done, followed by a check on the validity of the answer (video, picture).

As I was thinking about how I could incorporate this into my classes, I think I already have incorporated them at times. However, my Three Act Math Tasks are like the movie preview clips that show all the funny parts and make you wonder why you are spending money to see the movie when you already saw all the good stuff. In other words, I show the kids the interesting picture and then I pose the questions for them and give them the needed information to answer the question! Who cares about the answer when the hard (and most interesting part) is done for you?

Here is a picture I show every year in Geometry when we do our unit on volume and surface area.

Rather than saying, "what do you wonder when you see this?" I TELL them we are going to figure out how much special paint would be needed to protect the ball of twine and how many baseballs would be needed to create a ball of twine like this. Those are my questions - not theirs. I have told all the jokes with the punchline. Why should they get excited? It isn't their question!

Well, this year I am going to do it differently. And when we get to this unit in March or April, I'll be sure to post about it here. For now, I will be posting the picture at once I remember my password for that site!