Friday, February 3, 2012

Lesson Inspiration

I usually find inspiration for what I do from my coworkers and to a lesser extent - the Internet. Last year I was watching one of my favorite shows, The Universe, and I was struck with inspiration.

The astronomer was at the beach to explain how they calculate the number of stars in space. Using sand, it was explained that the number of stars are calculated by counting the stars in a given space, and then estimating the number in the entire space.

I decided to take this idea and use it for my class when we were studying mean, mode, and average.

My challenge to the class was to estimate the number of blades of grass on the soccer field. I gave the students the challenge as a homework problem to simply brainstorm ideas on how to solve it at first. I then explained to them how we would figure out the solution. I had them cut out a 10cm by 10cm squares in graph paper.

We then went outside to count the number of grass blades in the squares they cut out. The rest was simply calculating.

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