Friday, September 20, 2013

Bucky the Badger

Okay now, seriously: this lesson is incredible.  I've now used Dan Meyer's Math in Three Acts format to solve a problem involving Bucky the Badger in three different classrooms, and every single time I've had students cheering and hollering when the answer is revealed.  What other lesson in math can achieve the same results?  I had students doing intense, solid, persistent thinking for more than an hour and twenty minutes with only one or two complaints!  One girl in one of the sixth grade classes kept sighing dramatically and saying, "This is taking too long!"  But she stuck with it, was on the right track, and ended up helping her group solve the problem correctly.

One class worked for 45 minutes before they realized they didn't have enough information to solve the problem!  When they came to the realization, they had gotten deep enough into the problem that they knew what to ask for, obtained the information, and got right back to solving!

This whole new format to problem solving is pretty eye-opening and inspiring.  Students have been engaged, interested, curious, and really thinking about numbers as they've been working through this problem.  I absolutely cannot wait to introduce this problem to more classes and see how they do.  If you haven't been to 101qs.com, you have to go and search for some problems.  Or better yet, look for math in your own daily life and create your own three acts!

I know that my next step is to have students figure out what the best route I should take to work is using Google Maps with traffic updates, and I want to figure out if it's cheaper to take lightrail to a Sharks game or just drive (and whether the difference in money is worth the potential difference in time).  So many possibilities!
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