Props to my co-worker

I have to share a lesson that my fellow math teacher came up with.  She really knocked it out of the park with this one.

The unit is covering volume in our 7th grade, specifically the idea that the volume of a right prism is cross-sectional area multiplied by height.

She began with this video:

Like a champ, she just showed it to them.  No explanation.  She just let them start talking.  After a few minutes one girl pipes up:

“You know, we always have to refill our pool because of evaporation.”

“I wonder how long you would have to leave the hose in to fill it up.”

Then the teacher pulled out this:

She also brought the bucket to school so they had to measure it.  Genius.

The beauty of this whole thing was where the problem came from.  She was mentioning one day in our office about how when they filled their pool up she would sometimes leave the hose in too long, but she disliked waiting around because it took so long.  If only she could calculate how long it would take…

I wonder if part of the success of this lesson is that it really is her pool, and the student know it. It makes it seem so much more authentic.  She drew those dimensions on the back of her third grade son’s spelling test.  Is personal proximity to the problem a key ingredient of WCYDWT?  Is putting this stuff up here useful because someone will download this exact video and dimensions, or because they will make their own version of it?


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