Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I'm Calling Bullcrap! - Adventures in teaching IMP

Sonya New is my hero! I'm just saying... If it were not for Sonya I would not be the teacher I am today. She makes me want to be a better teacher. She makes me think! UGH! AND...she cracks me up sometimes.

Yesterday we were looking over some of the Meaningful Math Algebra lessons that we were going to be teaching the next few days. She had her honors algebra students complete the Who Will Make It activity for homework and she told me that they had asked if they could use a "squiggly line" between zero and the first output value so they didn't have to label all of the values in between. She told them no. However, when we were discussing it she said she wished she had let some of them go ahead and do it so that they would be able to talk about the inaccurate conclusions that would be drawn. She decided to do a graph with the "squiggly" and talk to them about it. Her graph is below:
The context of the story is to see who will make it to Green River before the flood that is predicted (by the almanac) to happen in 30 days. The y-axis is distance to the river and as you can see all 3 of her families make it to the river (the x-axis) way before 30 days. After discussing the class's answers she put her answer under the document camera and told the class that she had all of her families to make it before the flood. She said at first they were starting to erase their answers...they assumed she was right and they were wrong. However, she had one girl yell out, "I'm calling bullcrap!" and run up to the board to point at her "squiggly line" to say that Sonya's answer was wrong. I loved this story. I have told Sonya over and over again I wish she would blog about her personal "imp adventure" so that I could read all about it. We talk almost every day but we don't always have alot of time to go into detail. I told her I just had to tell this story. I loved that a student ran from the back of the room to prove that Sonya was wrong and she was right.

P.S. - I hope nobody is offended by the title...it is a renaming of a popular card game that has to do with calling someone's bluff when you think they are not telling the truth about their cards.