Tuesday, November 21, 2017

MPM1D1 - Day 53 Barbie Bungee

We skipped the traditional warm-up today and got right into Barbie Bungee. Our warm-up was co-constructing the success criteria.

As students came into class they received a card (as they always do) that would assign them to a random group. After the bell went I had students gather at a white board at the back of the room. I explained that each group would receive a Barbie and they had to figure out how many rubber bands to tie onto Barbie so that she got as close to the floor without hitting it when she was dropped from the stairwell. I told them that this was an assignment and I wanted them to go to their boards and come up with a list of criteria that they thought should be included in their assignment. I felt like after the time we spent working on the success criteria  for the Pumpkin Time-Bomb assignment, students had a good sense of what should be included in an assignment.

I was not disappointed. The results were far better than they were the first time we co-created success criteria. Each group created a good sized list of useful criteria this time around. After about 10 minutes I stopped them and had them group their criteria into categories of their choosing. As it turned out most, if not all groups, created three different categories. The categories were roughly Data (needed/given/measured), Mathematics (graph, table, equation, line of best fit), Report (description of task and process used, showing your work, proper terminology, units etc.).

I brought the class together, we talked about the categories and some of the items in their categories. I told them that I would organize all of their ideas and send them a written copy via email.

I handed out the Barbies and seven rubber bands and let them go. There were lots of ideas floating around that led to some great thinking.

  • We could measure one band and multiply by seven. 
  • Should we measure them stretched or not?
  • Let's measure from the floor up.
  • Our measurements weren't very accurate (In one case adding a 10cm band only added 2cm to the distance Barbie fell).
  • Let's do three trials at each level and take an average.
  • We should each trial, then watch the video to see how far Barbie fell.

The data collection was time consuming and messy at times but in the end every group came away with a set of data they felt comfortable with. Although it was time consuming I think having students struggle through those difficulties and errors was very worthwhile.

Tomorrow they'll start to analyse their data and begin putting together their individual reports, which will be due sometime next week.

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