Borrowed: Related Rates Hook

I recently stole this lesson from CEBDN to intro related rates.  It starts with a video of a martini glass filing up with liquid and a discussion of the rate of change of volume, radius and height.  Then the students dove into analyzing the video using Logger Pro – which was super easy and something I’m going to use again in the future.

What Worked

  • We began the day by going over a released Free-Response Question on yesterday’s quiz.  It was an implicit differentiation question, in which the last piece stated ‘x and y are both functions of t.’  My students had no idea how to deal with this.  Rather than try to cobble and explanation together, I switched on the video and asked ‘What does the volume of water depend on..’
  • The software manipulation was very easy with the instructions in the packet – thanks whoever made it.
  • Seeing the data numerically and visually was solid.  I think it was a great mental hook for related rates
  • One of my students thought the software was so cool that we should make our own videos.  Note to self – this is an extensionable project next year.  This would help with the fact that a martini glass filling up is fairly uninspiring.

What Didn’t

  • My transition from video to teams at the computer was kludgy, and it killed some of the enthusiasm they were building from the discussion.
  • Make sure my students are better at excel before they get to calculus…if only I taught these students before their senior year.  Oh wait I do.  Note to self: find the course to really hammer excel in…maybe 9th grade…
  • I needed a better sense of what their outcome was to look like – I didn’t really care to collect the packet, but didn’t specify any sort of excel final draft.  Something they could work more on at home, not just at school.
  • I spent 3 class days, which needs to be 2 with a better finished product.  I know of things I can do to trim the fat though.

Thanks to the blogosphere for the lesson!

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