Saturday, December 06, 2014

Blog: How Do We Make a Scatterplot?

I was going through a shoebox of stuff in my basement. I found a handful of paperbacks I'd started, some old stubs and statements and, underneath all that, some pages ripped from both spiral and composition notebooks. Most of them appeared to be random questions and answers to homework assignments from April, 2012 (not too bad), but with them was a lesson plan dated December 8, 2004, almost exactly 10 years ago. It was my first year teaching high school, and only my second full year teaching. I remember the students enjoyed the activity, but in my morning class and my afternoon class. However, I don't think I ever did it again. A few reasons I can think of -- I spent the next few years teaching Geometry, teaching Special Ed, and switching gears from Math A to Integrated Algebra. Every year, it seemed, the ninth grade curriculum was being rewritten or reordered. And, frankly, some groups of students were better than other when it came to activities (try to close an activity and bring the class together for a summary without half of them packing their bags!), and some times of the year lend themselves to this sort of thing more than others.

So, basically, this is the sheet of paper I kept. I'm sharing it with you and, thus, keeping it electronically, so I can throw this scrap away.

December 8, 2004

Aim: How do we make a scatterplot?

SWBAT make a graph comparing numbers of words spoken per second/minute.

Activity: Students will break into groups. Each will have a sports article. Their task is to take turns "auditioning" for a sports announcer job (like "Ron" on "G-Unit Radio")

Note: Ron was a school aide who did the morning announcements with a little bit of a flair, and he referred to it as "G-Unit Radio", the "G" for the school name and "Unit" for "Family" ... and having nothing at all to do with a similarly-named hip-hop group from Jamaica, Queens.)

Each article is marked off at 10-word intervals (for easier counting). One group member will be the timer, another the recorder. Students will take turns talking for 10, 15 20 and 30 seconds and then counting the words. After the data is recorded, data will be graphed.

Q: Is there a relationship between time and # of words?

HW: Finish the graph based on the data.
Work on December HW packet.

I remember when making groups, one of the keys decisions in grouping was how many of them had a watch. This was before everyone has a phone as well.

I also remember being told to come up with a Christmas vacation assignment. I hate those, and some of my students would be traveling (some outside the country) and did I really want them to bring books along? So I make a packet of HW for the month of December and told them it was due the day after the day we got back because everyone always forgets it the first day back. (Some of them were doing the entire packet the day we got back, which might explain we I haven't done that since.)

I hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane. Try the activity yourself, and let me know how it works. FYI: I was in the middle of a free six-week trial subscription of Sports Illustrated, courtesy of whatever store I had started my Christmas shopping in, and I pulled an article from there. The sports pages work, too, especially if your school is listed in them!

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