Linear functions: Experimental approach
by Irini Perissinaki
Monday 11th to Friday 15th of April was certainly a week of great action. 10 students from Finland and 9 from Spain had come to visit us, as participants to the Erasmus+ program “EL ESPAÑOL, PASAPORTE ENTRE CULTURAS”. We, being the hosts, had arranged quite a lot of events to welcome them.
On this frame, an experimental approach to linear functions was planned for Wednesday 13th of April 2016. Right after the morning assembly, all students of A3 Class, together with our visitors, arranged themselves to the basketball court to get action.
The crow and the pitcher activity
The lesson was based on the fable “The crow and the pitcher” in which a crow raised the water level in a pitcher by throwing inside small pebbles. Students were instructed to repeat the task by throwing marbles inside a pluviometer. They should raise the water level from 100 mm to 120 mm. As they added the marbles one by one, they kept notes for the water level and then plotted it as a function of the number of the marbles. This function was linear and its explicit formula was to be found. They all did so well in this task!
The three curves activity
In the second part, the pluviometer was replaced by other pots: a sphere, a square pyramid and a cone (stand on their peaks) and the marbles by small amounts of water (same for all three solids), injected to them. Again, students would focus on the water levels, which were not linear functions of the water amount injected, as indicated from the three graphs plotted on their worksheet. But which graph corresponds to which solid? Students managed to unravel this riddle. Can you?
Teaching matterial and team work
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