In 6th grade math, we are wrapping up our second unit on advanced area and perimeter, coordinate planes, and ratios. Students have begun a project that unites these three big ideas and will create a blueprint for a tabletop putt-putt golf course. Using recyclable materials, students will use their blueprint and chosen scale factor to create a playable version of their golf course. They will find the areas and perimeters of their blueprint and its obstacles as well as their tabletop versions. This will inform how much felt is needed (composite area) and how much border is needed (composite perimeter) as they plan their designs. Students have the choice of using the online program Geogebra for their plans or going “old school” with graph paper and pencil. I am looking forward to sharing pictures and videos of the final products, as well as hosting the first annual Tabletop Open when all the courses are done being built. May the best golfer win!
In Algebra 1, we are building on our work with linear functions to explore how multiple equations can exist within the same coordinate plane. Students have been writing equations in one or two variables to represent real-life situations, and are beginning to solve for the intersection point using graphing and the substitution method. Soon, we will add the third method for solving a system of equations, elimination. This unit will culminate with a Shark Tank project where students will design a product, research the materials needed to build it, and create profit and cost equations to model their business expenses. Please keep an eye out in future Bulletins for a call for volunteer “Sharks” when the mathematicians are ready to make their pitches for investments*! If you are unfamiliar with the television show Shark Tank, please visit this link.
* Note: These volunteer Sharks will have an imaginary $1,000,000 each to invest in the company of their choosing.