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Activity3 Pick

Activity3 Pick

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Published by hypatiaphd
This is an example of an in-class activity that I use with my classes. If you refer to the course calendar (also in this collection), you will see a mixture of in-class activities, lectures, and labs. It has been my experience that students (a) enjoy the class more, (b) remember the content longer and more completely, and (c) are more motivated and interested in the material when they are actively involved in discovering, discussing, and developing their own knowledge. These activities are written by me, but they are based on both the goals of the course and the textbook / resources we are using. I have found that a three-part activity works best. In part I, the student prepares for the class. This is done beforehand and the students come to class having their completed part I in hand. We will often take the first few minutes of class to grade part I before commencing with the actual activity to ensure that there is no mis-information that needs to be corrected first. Part II is the actual "doing" of the activity -- in this case, the students are exploring with various polygons in order to derive a particular formula that was originally discovered by Pick. This "discovery" is not random; it is well-designed by me, the teacher, and guided (though informally) so the students have some direction during their investigations. Part II is usually completed in a mix of small groups (say three or four students) and whole class (led by someone... often, not me, but another student). Part III is the summary / wrap up / connections section in which I try to ensure that the student (1) learned whatever the particular mathematical content was (2) can connect that content to both prior knowledge and future knowledge (since they know the whole layout of the class beforehand with the course calendar, they are expected to make these connections "both ways") and (3) can answer (correctly) specific questions related to this content (often related to what they will see on tests and quizzes).
This is an example of an in-class activity that I use with my classes. If you refer to the course calendar (also in this collection), you will see a mixture of in-class activities, lectures, and labs. It has been my experience that students (a) enjoy the class more, (b) remember the content longer and more completely, and (c) are more motivated and interested in the material when they are actively involved in discovering, discussing, and developing their own knowledge. These activities are written by me, but they are based on both the goals of the course and the textbook / resources we are using. I have found that a three-part activity works best. In part I, the student prepares for the class. This is done beforehand and the students come to class having their completed part I in hand. We will often take the first few minutes of class to grade part I before commencing with the actual activity to ensure that there is no mis-information that needs to be corrected first. Part II is the actual "doing" of the activity -- in this case, the students are exploring with various polygons in order to derive a particular formula that was originally discovered by Pick. This "discovery" is not random; it is well-designed by me, the teacher, and guided (though informally) so the students have some direction during their investigations. Part II is usually completed in a mix of small groups (say three or four students) and whole class (led by someone... often, not me, but another student). Part III is the summary / wrap up / connections section in which I try to ensure that the student (1) learned whatever the particular mathematical content was (2) can connect that content to both prior knowledge and future knowledge (since they know the whole layout of the class beforehand with the course calendar, they are expected to make these connections "both ways") and (3) can answer (correctly) specific questions related to this content (often related to what they will see on tests and quizzes).

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Published by: hypatiaphd on Apr 23, 2010
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05/06/2012

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Math 230 Dr. Perdue
Page 1 of 3
Activity #3: Pick’s Formula
Name:(or “Using Geoboards to Explore Polygon’s Area”)Part I: Introduction
Research shows that students learn mathematics concepts better whenthose concepts are presented in a concrete way before they are made moreabstract. We are going to use “manipulatives” (mathematical modeling toolsused to give concrete examples for various concepts) to explore area ofpolygons. The manipulative we will be using today are called “Geoboards”…they come in different sizes and styles but all are square boards with pegsthat can be used with rubber bands to create various shapes.To prepare for this activity, you need to refresh yourself on some basicdefinitions. First, recall our class definition for “polygon” from the previousactivity and record it here:Next, based on that definition, define the following terms: (Note:remember to follow our “rules” for writing good geometric definitions.)1.
 
Triangle2.
 
Quadrilateral3.
 
Pentagon4.
 
Hexagon5.
 
Heptagon6.
 
Octagon7.
 
Diagonal8.
 
Side9.
 
Vertex
 
Math 230 Dr. Perdue
Page 2 of 3Now, using our text, the Internet, or any other resource you’d like, writethe formulas requested below. Remember to state what each variablestands for; for example, the Area
(square)
= s
2
where s = the length of the sideof the square.1.
 
A
(rectangle)
=2.
 
A
(triangle)
=3.
 
A
(regular polygon)
=
Part II: Action
In 1899 a mathematician named Georg Pick discovered a formula (directrule) for calculating the area of a polygon on a Geoboard using only twovariables, the number of
interior points 
(pegs found inside the polygon) andthe number of
boundary points 
(pegs that are touching a rubber band, canalso think of as vertices of the polygon). In this activity, we will re-discoverhis formula through exploration. Because our intent is to discover a formulathat works for all polygons, we will first explore with polygons that we caneasily “see” the answer. As an example, look at the two polygons shown onGeoboards below:Can you “see” that the area of Polygon #1 is 8 squares? Polygon #2,however, is harder because not all the squares are whole. However, by thetime we are done, you will be able to easily calculate the area of Polygon #2using only the number of interior and exterior points.Since we are looking for patterns, we will take a systematic approach tothe polygons we create. For example, we’ll try to make several polygons withthe same area but that have different numbers of interior and boundarypoints so we can determine the effect they have on the result.
Polygon #1Polygon #2

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