Thursday, September 10, 2015

Math Clocks

Time, Time Indicating, Agreement, DateWednesday is my usual word problem day. Since the classes are about 15 minutes shorter,  I try to focus on helping students learn to solve word problems using a methodical process.  Last week, we began an activity out the a NCTM publication on mathematical clocks.

Problem 2 required the students to create their own mathematical clock.  I passed out the paper with a circle drawn on it so students could start creating their own clock.  I did have to put parameters on what they could use as equations, otherwise I would have had students filling their clocks with things like 0 + 1, 1 + 1, 1 + 2, etc. or the square root of 1, 4, 9, etc or even 1 * 1, 1*2, etc.

I had to use these parameters because many of my students are lazy and take the easiest way out.   By the end of the period, after a bunch of complaining, my students were actually producing some decent equations.

This is an example of one I put together using Sketchbook Express on my computer.  I have two drawing programs on the ipad I plan to  have my students use to produce a final product after they get all the equations worked out.

I like this activity because it makes the students slow down and really think about what makes an equation that will produce a specific result.  Several students wrote equations that produced 1/3 instead of 3  or 27 instead of 3.  I think I'll put this activity in my file of repeat activities.