Monday, August 19, 2013

180- Day One- If Math Were a Food

I like to start my year off by asking students to answer the question "If math were a food, what would it be?" and have them explain why.  I'm always so sad when students answer (fill in whatever hated vegetable) and their explanation is something along the lines of "it's just horrible".

Today I talked to my students about the fact that I genuinely like math...not calculations mind you- who really loves dividing mixed numbers by mixed numbers anyway- but being able to find something interesting in the world and be able to find out more about it by modeling it with mathematics.

Our first unit of the year follows 7th Grade Common Core Ratios and Proportions...I wanted to get an idea of what my students knew about Ratios and Unit Rates from 6th grade, so I used an activity my partner 7th grade teacher had in his file.

Freddy and Fretta Frog Hopping (clicking should download the file)

It was interesting to see the variety of responses my students included...most were able to solve the first problem but they used several different strategies.

In the first problem students could just find that if Fretta hopped four times as many times that so did Freddy, the relationship wasn't as clear in the second question so students struggled.  In addition, the answer was a fraction so there was a lot of discussion on whether Freddy really could jump half a jump.

The last question started with a mixed number.  Most of my students just froze on that one but here were a few interesting responses:

So tomorrow we'll be on to looking more at ratio tables and an official pre-test required by our district- just couldn't do that to my students on day one!

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