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1. Understanding and Calculating Slope (Algebra 1) – 9th grade 2. Objectives: For students to understand the difference between positive, negative, zero, and undefined slopes. For students to calculate slope. Standards: 13. Compute and interpret slope, midpoint, and distance given a set of ordered pairs (OAC Standards Grade Level Indicators, 8, Patterns, Functions, & Algebra – Use Algebraic Representations, page 167). During this lesson, students will be introduced to the formula for calculating slope. In order to practice calculating slope, students will solve two different types of example problems. For the first type of example problem, students will be given a rise and a run for two different roller coasters and asked to calculate the slope. They then must interpret the slope values found to determine which roller coaster is steeper. For the second type, the students will be given two ordered pairs on a roller coaster and asked to find the slope between the points. Recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics (NCTM Process Standards, Connections, page 322). In this lesson, students will see how the concept of slope can be used to calculate the steepness of roller coasters, showing students how mathematical concepts (such as slope) can be applied outside of the classroom. Communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others (NCTM Process Standards, Communication, page 322). During the Launch part of the lesson, students will be asked to discuss pictures of various roller coasters in small groups. They also will be writing brief explanations of their observations with their groups, which will then be shared with the class. Thus, students will be engaged in both oral and written communication with their small groups and the class as a whole. 3. Materials/Technology/Resources – Smart Notes for “Understanding and Calculating Slope” I created, Smartboard, paper and pencil, “Calculating Slope” homework worksheet, calculators
Part 2: Implementation
4. Lesson: A. Launch (15 minutes) 1. Before the concept of slope is even mentioned, the students will look at pictures of various roller coasters in order to get a taste for examining the steepness and direction of a coaster’s hills. 2. First, the students will be shown two different pictures, each of which depicts a piece of a particular roller coaster with a different slope. They will be
asked to discuss with the students around them which roller coaster hill is steeper. Then, each small group will write a brief explanation as to how they decided which hill is steeper. Groups will share their various responses and explanations with the class. 3. Students will then be shown another set of two different roller coaster pictures – one with a positive slope and one with a negative slope. Since the specific concept of slope has not yet been introduced, students will be asked to discuss with their small groups and write the differences they see between the hills of the two roller coasters. Again, students will share their written responses with the whole class. The goal is for students to recognize the steepness and direction of one roller coaster’s hill in comparison to the other. 4. Lastly, students will be shown a final set of two roller coaster pictures, one of which has a slope of zero and the other with an undefined slope. Again, students will be asked to discuss and write the differences they see between the hills of the two roller coasters with their small groups. The written responses will be shared with the class as a whole. The goal is for students to recognize that one hill is horizontal, while the other hill shown is vertical. B. Explore (20 minutes) 1. After discussing and writing brief explanations of the roller coaster hills seen in the pictures with their small groups, students will formally be introduced to the concept of slope. Slope will be described to them as the steepness of an incline or decline. It will also be highlighted that the larger the slope, the steeper the incline or decline of the hill on the roller coaster. 2. Recalling the roller coaster pictures we looked at in steps 3 and 4 above, students will learn that a slope can be exactly one of the following: positive, negative, zero, or undefined. Students will be shown four coordinate graphs, each with a line that represents a positive, negative, zero, and undefined slope. 3. Then, students will be shown four new pictures of roller coaster tracks. They will be asked to individually classify the type of slope represented in each picture. 4. The formula for calculating slope will be given to students. As a class we will then work through two types of example problems together. For the first type of example problem, students will be given a rise and a run for two different coasters. Then, they will have to calculate the slope and interpret which roller coaster is steeper based on the values of the slopes. For the second type of example problem, students will be provided two points on a roller coaster and asked to determine the slope between the two points. C. Share/Summarize (15 minutes) 1. Upon completing the example problems, students will be asked to get out a sheet of blank paper and write the answers to the following questions. a. Recall the equation for slope. b. Illustrate what a positive, negative, zero, and undefined slope look like. c. In your own words, differentiate between a positive slope and a negative slope.
d. In your own words, differentiate between a slope of zero and a slope that is not defined. 2. Students will be asked to construct a quick sketch of a roller coaster that has all four types of slopes represented. 3. Students will be assigned the “Calculating Slopes” worksheet for homework and any final student questions will be answered.
Part 3: Assessment
5. Assessment Aligned to Lesson Objectives a. Formative Assessment – At the end of class, how much the students learned about slope will be informally measured through their ability to recall the slope formula, illustrate the four types of slopes, differentiate between positive and negative slopes, and differentiate between a slope of zero and an undefined slope. Their knowledge of slope will also be assessed through their ability to create a sketch of a roller coaster that incorporates all four types of slopes. b. Summative Assessment – Student learning will formally be measured through tonight’s homework worksheet. Students will be given two sets of points on a particular roller coaster and asked to not only calculate the slope between each pair of points, but to also compare the two slopes calculated. They also will be asked to describe a line that has a slope of zero and a line that has an undefined slope. This homework will be collected tomorrow, and students will receive a grade out of 10 for correctness. 6. Differentiation/Accommodations – To accommodate English language learners in the classroom, I will provide them with hard copies of the notes, including language objectives, so they only need to focus on understanding the material rather than writing down all the language. During the launch portion of the lesson, ELLs will be placed in small groups with non-ELL students to discuss the roller coaster pictures so that the ELLs can use their English communication skills and the non-ELLs can use their academic language skills to produce solid explanations. Also, during the share/summarize section of the lesson, ELLs will be given the option of only illustrating the differences between positive, negative, zero, and undefined slopes instead of providing a written explanation. The homework worksheet will be adapted to include pictures of the roller coasters to make the homework more context-embedded. Also, in completing the homework ELLs will have the option of drawing figures to represent lines with zero and undefined slopes in number 3 instead of explaining the difference in words. 7. Homework – “Calculating Slopes” worksheet (see below)
Part 4: Supporting Materials
8. References – The “Calculating Slopes” homework worksheet came from the following website: http://www.libraryvideo.com/ssl/data_sheets/V6734.pdf
9. Attachments – The Smart Notes I created for “Understanding and Calculating Slope” and the “Calculating Slopes” homework worksheet are attached below.
Calculating Slope 1. A line representing the path of an ascending roller coaster passes through the points (0, 0) and (50, 36), and through the points (12.5, 9) and (10, 7.2). Find the slope of the line using each set of points and compare the two slopes.
2. A line representing the path of a descending roller coaster during its first drop passes through the points (0, 24) and (30, 0), while a line representing the second drop passes through the points (0, 12) and (10, 0). Find the slope of each line. Which line represents a steeper drop? Explain your answer.
3. What kind of line has a slope of zero? What kind of line has no slope? Describe in words, rather than through a picture.