Sep 15, 2011

Teaching Thursdays - The Wave

Well, it is Thursday, so you know that means it is Teaching Thursdays here! Woohoo!

Today I am sharing an activity that can be used for Algebra I, Algebra II, and Math Models. It is great for graphing scatter plots, finding linear regressions, extrapolating info, solving equations, comparing equations, and determining changes in graphs when the slope is changed. Plus the kids have fun which is a double bonus! is The Wave activity! This is just like when people do the wave at sporting events except we are obviously doing this on a much smaller scale.

Using this worksheet, the class will do the wave with increasing number of students added to the line and time themselves. Then the class graphs the scatterplots, gets an equation and makes predicitions. I make the kiddos stand in the front of the room and make noise as they are doing the wave. Some kids think they are too cool but most students have fun with it. You can get the worksheet HERE to use in your classroom.

Here are some tips:
1. Make sure the students do the wave the same way each time. So if an individual decides to do it super fast, they need to do it super fast at each trial to keep it consistent.

2. If you are short on time or have a large class, have the students do the wave in groups rather than adding individual students to the line. So maybe at each trial 3 students are added to the wave instead of one.

3. Set behaviour expectations up front. I told my students if they couldn't handle this activity, they would be sent to the hall with a worksheet to work on rather than have fun with the class. The worksheet would practice the same things we were doing in The Wave but would be much more boring!

4. Keep all the data in your calculator so that you can graph the different waves on one screen. It shows a GREAT comparison at how the different slopes shifts the line.

5. You can add in changing the y-intercept by saying the first person in the wave has to wait 4 seconds before starting the wave. Or waiting 10 seconds.

6. Maybe another class is doing this the same day. Then you can go in the hall and see if your prediction of 50 students is correct.

7. If it is a nice day maybe you can do all the data collection on the football stands outside. Or in the gym if no one is using it. :)

What other ways could we make this activity run smooth in the class or make it a better activity? Have you done this in class and have modifications to it? I would love to hear about it!

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1 comment:

  1. This is such a cute idea. Because of the randomness of it students will get to work with other students that they usually wouldn't have worked with.


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