During November 2010, I went to the Tennessee Independent Schools Bi-Annual conference held at the Baylor School in Chattanooga, TN. I was impressed with Baylor's picturesque campus, campus dormitories (which I did convince a teacher from Baylor to sneak me into on-way, way larger than my closet of a room at Tech), and their amazing math department who are incredible innovative. My first post about chalking was from one of the teachers from Baylor. I sat through a presentation on how a 7th grade teacher had her Pre-Algebra kiddos create an 3-D animal from paper towel rolls, shoe boxes, and similar material and then find the area and volume of their animal. Her Algebra students where jealous so she had them draw animals on graph paper (using all straight lines) and then find the equations of particular lines. This the part that I borrowed!
I did this project with my 7th graders in Memphis and then my 9th graders in Atlanta. The class subjects are the same so the material was relevant to both. For both classes I asked them to draw an animal on graph paper using only straight lines. I did not tell them what the purpose was. My 7th graders completed this while having a sub one day and my 9th graders completed this for homework the night after a test (100% completion rate!) I also had them go over their final animal in pen. I then collected them and made a photocopy of them. The students got the original back and their copy. I asked them to decorate the copy and use the original to somehow label the lines they defined on a separate sheet of paper. The final version included the original animal, the decorated animal, and then the equation sheet on a poster board with the rubric on the back.
1st: Will do this project again
2nd: Took forever to grade so may consider this a partner project to lessen the grading part
3rd: Will allow more class-time to work on the project
4th: Will use strong student examples from the past in the introduction of this project
5th: May expand theme on animals to something like school spirit
Educator who loves math and working with students.