Mathematics of Roller Coasters Mathematics of Roller Coasters presents a variety of options to explore for those in High School 9 grade

Algebra courses. Within the context of this integrated module unit we will be exploring the substitution method, systems of equations, slope, and equations of lines. These are widely explored and studied within the ninth grade year of high school. The goal of this integrated module unit is to provide an interactive project for students to see how mathematics can be applied in a real world setting. Students appreciate learning content when it relates to life outside of the classroom. We aim to teach the math content in a manner which will be retained and readily available in higher math courses. The integrated module provides us with a venue to do so. The students are able to connect topics, such as slope, equations of lines, and systems of equations, in an unconventional way that promotes retention of the mathematical concepts learned. The module perpetuates problem solving skills that will enhance their ability to make sense of the math. It also enables the students to express their creativity and interests in combination with their knowledge of the content studied.
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There is a strong correlation between the literacy proficiency of a student and their success in math. In our rationale it is made very clear that reading and literacy in math go hand in hand. Their relationship is vital in order to attain and retain the mathematical knowledge needed for future application. The connection between literacy and the mathematics classroom is fostered through reading strategies, Bloom’s Taxonomy, and communication, as seen in our Integrated Module Unit—Mathematics of Roller Coasters.
Included are ten lessons that incorporate literacy in mathematics. We start off the two week unit with a brainstorming lesson, where students are provided a roller coaster article that they have to read and determine where the math comes in to play. The next three days cover the topic of system of equations, where the students will learn addition and substitution methods for solving these equations. These lessons provide the basis for what they will later apply to later lessons. The next day students are to perform an activity where they would solve problems that they would encounter at an amusement park directly related to systems of equations. The following week is the students continue the unit by learning the concept of calculating slope and equations of lines. We incorporate the reading strategy of double entry journals while instructing how to write equations of lines. Lastly students will be given a project in which they are to simulate a roller coaster in which they have to determine the correct slope for a particular hill so that the roller coaster car successfully makes it around a loop. Finally, they will present their findings and model for their roller coaster. The main assessments presented within this integrated module unit are the roller coaster project and the day where students solved problems relating to systems of equations. This two assessments provided the necessary feedback for the teacher to see if the students were understanding the mathematical content. If you would like to know more you can contact any of the following creators of this integrated module unit: Meghan Montero; montermv@muohio.edu Kendall Stanley; stanlekn@muohio.edu Cody Owen; owencc@muohio.edu Bethani Scott; scottbj3@muohio.edu Jake Ohnmeis; ohnmeijw@muohio.edu Sarah Hardtke: hardtksm@muohio.edu

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