Flippity Flip, Bottle Flip!

How are all these middle schoolers/grade 9s landing these bottle flips?


Before today I hadn’t seen any of our students doing this bottle flipping thing! But I had a feeling they had all done it before. Today we started an activity with watching trick shots of bottle flips and will end with us creating and solving linear equations.

I showed this video:

My students wanted to argue that some of the tricks were fake…. but they were glued to watching. They all had tried flipping bottles before and some said they were amazing at it.

I had a full water bottle with me and asked if I could flip this. They all shouted that it was too full. I tried flipping and it was a no go. So I cracked it open and drank a few gulps. “Nope….you still won’t be able to flip that Mr. Orr — too much water still.” Again, I tried flipping it and nope. Still not even close. “Mr. Orr you probably won’t be able to flip it even if it had the perfect amount of water.”  So I took a few more swigs. “Still no good sir.” As I was chugging….someone yelled out for me to STOP! I did…..then flipped that bottle…. and…..Boom! The class was blown away!

I had them log into a simple Desmos activity that asked them to choose which bottle would be ideal for flipping.

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Almost everyone had chosen yellow.

The next slide had them moving a line to show the water level and then having them estimate how many ml would be ideal.

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Students were estimating between 100 and 200 ml.

“I think it’s 125 because that would be a quarter of the bottle. I think a quarter is the perfect amount of water.”

“I think it’s not 250ml because it has to be less than half…..but I think it’s not exactly half of that….so half of 250 is 125….but I’ll say 150ml.”

I shared all of their guesses:

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They kept asking if they were going to get to flip any bottles?? I said, “This is math class….do you think we flip bottles in math class?”

Then I broke out the bottles.

Here is the plan. We are going to have a bottle flipping contest. Rules:

  • Draw a line on your bottle where you think the ideal amount of water should be. Determine how much water to put into it in ml.
  • When you know how much water you need record it on our chart….put exactly that much water in there.
  • You must use your bottle for the contest.

Here are some pics of them working on this first part.

img_2250 img_2248 img_2247 img_2243 We had just enough time in this class to determine our volume, fill the bottle to verify it met the line, and practice flipping for about 10 minutes.

Part 2: The Contest

Students complete in five one minute trials. Recording how many “lands” they get each trial. screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-1-37-07-pm

We average those five trials to develop your “Landing” equation! Who was the winner? What does their graph look like?

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We use that equation to solve some problems. How many after ____minutes? How long will it take to make 100 lands? What does the equation look like if you have a head start of 5 lands?

I’ve modelled this lesson structure after this Paper Tossing activity and ultimately after Alex’s Card Tossing activity.

Featured Comment:

Mason:

 Well I am a middle school student and I go to chesnee middle school and I think that I just might show this to MY math teacher even though I don’t like math but you just made me want to like math. I’m in the sixth grade.

MEL3E Day 26

Today I tried to jam too much math in and it caused some frustration! The warm up went awesome though! It was from Wouldyourathermath.com:

We talked about each of the options and some missing information. Students wanted to know what kind of car it was so we could determine the fuel consumption.

They volunteered some makes of cars to use…and we settled on using a Ford Fusion. We looked up the fuel consumption and we found some info.  img_2268

Groups were all over this problem. It was great to hear the conversations about how many km would be driven, how much option 1 would cost, and how many litres the car would use to travel there and back. I had conversations with each group about why someone might choose option 2 over option 3. We chatted about when would it make sense to choose option 1. Such rich talks.

This warm up turned into half our class and I was completely fine with it. 

Where things went downhill was after. My original plan after this warm up was to spend half the period completing our mastery and upgrade work then leave about 20 minutes for a new quiz. I tried to cram all of that into the remaining time. I said they had the next 15 minutes to work on their upgrades and then we’ll do the quiz. Fine right?? By the time they got their iPads out, logged in, and chose a question to work on those 15 minutes were up. I passed out the quiz and some students showed frustration of just starting their upgrade work and now had to write the quiz. One student stood up and said he was not writing the quiz and walked out. The others put their upgrade work away and started the quiz. No one finished. I expected no one to finish, but didn’t expect the frustration. I should have read the class better. I should have known my students better and that’s on me. I should let them keep working on their upgrades and done the quiz another day. Tomorrow we’ll keep going. 

Pentomino Puzzles

A few years ago I was introduced to a series of activities (through my then districts math consultant) that builds a driving need for students to createscreen-shot-2016-09-30-at-8-14-39-am, simplify, and solve linear equations. I used the activity for a few years in a row while I taught grade 9 academic. Since then I had forgotten all about it (funny how that goes) UNTIL NOW!

The activity ran as a series of challenge puzzles around Pentominoes and a giant hundred grid chart.

Activity 1: Explore

Ask students in groups to choose this tile and place it on the hundreds chart so that it covers a sum of 135. The task seems so simple to start but unpacks some great math.

Allow them to determine this sum anyway they like.

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I circulate and listen to their strategies. I give them very little feedback at this point. After a few minutes I choose some of those groups I heard interesting strategies to share..then let any other group share out their strategy.

img_2198Activity 2: Keep Exploring

I have them use the same tile and try again. Place the tile so that it covers a sum of 420. Listen to those strategies! Most groups that didn’t have a strategy before will try to adopt a strategy they heard last round. At this point most students will catch the strategy “If I divide the sum by 5, being like the average then I should have the middle number in the shape.”

This is where I stop and have a formal discussion as to why dividing by 5 here works? Will this always work? Will this always work with other shapes? What other shapes will this work with then?

We formalize the strategy.

Our big problem to start is not knowing where to place the tile. Let’s say I label the middle square n. What will the square immediately to the right of n always be? The left? The top? The bottom? Have them check this out by placing the tile repeatedly back on the grid.

Now let’s add all of those expressions up

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The middle square must be a multiple of 5!!! I have them try this strategy out by throwing out another sum and have them place the tile.

Look at another tile!

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We go back and outline that we could have chosen a different square to label n. Which results in a new equation and solves for different value…..but results in the same placement of the tile!!

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We continue by me having them select different tiles, giving them sums, having them create equations and solving them. I love how hands-on this lesson is. Holding the tiles adds some “realness” which I feel drives the need to solve these equations.

However,

this year when I remembered this activity I wasn’t sure I still had the tiles kicking around (I found them later). I immediately made a digital version with Explain Everything.

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The digital version gives each student their own copy and while working in groups can chat about what strategy worked and what didn’t. Before on the paper version….only one student could hold the tile. Also, when students have to voice their strategy through Explain Everything they have to have careful thought. They think about the words they want to use. We this careful thought they get to make their thinking visible for me!

One new addition to the activity I get to make here is that they can create their own pentomino…..and then their own puzzle to share with their classmates.

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Since then I also created the activity with some help from the team over at Desmos

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Click to access and rune the teacher.desmos.com activity

I love their new conversation tools….I get to pause the class and discuss when needed!

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Students can even sketch their new tile and create an expression to match! screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-9-24-03-am

 

Desmos even added some nice extension questions. Love it! screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-9-24-23-am

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In the future the next time I explore this lesson I see a blend of hands on tiles with digital support. I think having the best of both worlds here can pack a powerful 1-2-3-4-5 punch!

Pick your favourite!

Download the Explain Everything Pentomino Puzzles .xpl file. 

Access the Desmos Activity

 

 

MEL3E – Day 11

So I was away from class today. My little broke her arm while doing the monkey bars and we spent the day getting a brace! 

This is what my class was supposed to have done with the supply teacher. 

They’ll complete the worksheet below on converting times by time zone and from the 24 hour clock to 12 hour clock. 

When they complete that they are to work on their mastery work using FreshGrade.