Better Questions

Funny story that this is the #Mtbos blog prompt for the week 3. Recently, I turned 2 very boring questions from the textbook into something more like a 3Act story.

First this one:

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 8.16.48 PM

I rewrote an entire background story, like so:

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 8.18.54 PM

The result? A lot more buy-in than one would normally get. And some very funny discussions about tubing. I also found out that my students are starting to graph very nicely indeed. The graphs turned out really well – labeled, color coded, etc.

I discovered that students, although they could graph in slope-intercept form, didn’t quite understand that their subtotal is a piece of paired data with the number of hours spent on that activity. A lot of them kept trying to plot (25, 6.5), and then connecting it with (20, 7.5). I guess their ‘root-of-the-problem’ misunderstanding is that the line representing each activity is really a list of the possible combinations of hours played and subtotal cost.

It was tough, but it was also fun – so much more fun than the original problem from the book. The greatest thing about these ‘real world link’ problems in our textbook is that they can easily be rewritten to create more questioning. And by ‘easily,’ I mean it took about an hour to rewrite.

Perfect it is not. But it’s a start.

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One thought on “Better Questions

  1. Nice re-write. You are giving your students the chance to do the interesting (…and difficult!) thinking. I’m not surprised that you had interest and buy in. If I were running this activity, I might even divide your handout into four parts, and give them out one at a time after students had a chance to really think over each one. Part 1 – The brainstorm. Part 2 – Filter. Part 3 – The Task. Part 4 – The second page with the table of info.

    Thanks for sharing this.

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