07 October 2015

3-Act Math Images - Circular Farms

I really like this satellite image from NASA of center-pivot irrigated farm in Kansas - it looks like hundreds of pennies to me.

What questions could we ask with this image?
Image: Dalhart Texas, NASA Visualization
Some of my ideas:
  • How much land goes unused in this image because the fields are planted as circles?
  • If you could add smaller center-pivot sprinklers in the corners of the fields (and therefore, smaller circles) to cover some of the unused land, how many sprinklers would you need to cover over 98% of a field?
  • What proportion of this land is covered in dark farms, and in light colored farms?
  • Assuming irrigation costs were the same for both fields, how much more money could a farm make that planted in rectangular plots instead of circular plots of wheat?
  • Which setup would best maximize use of the land - one big center pivot sprinkler (one circle on a square plot, two sprinklers that do a half rotation (two hemispheres on a square plot), or four smaller sprinklers that do full rotations (four circles on a square plot)?

05 October 2015

UnGoogleable Question - Oct 5, 2015

This question is not high on the "UnGoogleable" scale, but another important aspect of real questions for our students is that they are timely.

When freshman came in this morning talking about who all had been drinking over the weekend and embellishing stories of "the best way" to sober up, after taking a minute to get over my frustration/anger at the absurdity of the chatter, I wrote this problem on our whiteboard for their Do Now.

More than the math our kids can perform (which several kids "successfully" calculated to be 2.5), it matters who they are now and what they are becoming. I don't mean to imply that kids drinking at a party is the end of all sins, but I think it is important that my students know that I care about what they do when they aren't with me. I'm not a math robot, so I refuse to teach like one either. :)

03 September 2015

24 Ways for Schools and Educators to TWEET

I'm leading a session at our district PD day on Twitter, so I made up a "bingo" for the attendees to play on their own as they explore their own tweeting identity.

"bingo" image by @chuckcbaker
Which is your favorite?