Department of Mathematics Education

# EMAT 6700, J. Wilson

EMAT 6700

J. Matt Tumlin

Contextual teaching and learning is appealing to me, because I have personally witnessed how traditional teaching methods have detached mathematics from the real world, thus losing many students’ interest.  Contextual teaching intrigues me because of the assistance it renders in student retention.  Below are contextual projects that I can use in my classroom which incorporate technology with mathematics.

CTL Activities

###### Bouncing Ball

Included in this activity are graphing scatter-plots, linear equations, finding the line of best fit, and using a graphing calculator.  Students will accomplish this by answering the question does a bouncing ball follow a linear pattern?

This project uses a Florist’s predicament of how to minimize cost and maximize profit with systems of equations and systems of inequalities.  Students will be asked to explain the meaning of various systems of equations and inequalities.  Then they will graph the systems and use the graphs to find the optimal floral arrangements to sell.

This project uses class-generated data to forecast experimental probability. You will examine the possible outcomes that occur from throwing a single die and a pair of dice.  Included in the lab are probability, frequency, and histograms.

This project uses average speeds from the Indianapolis 500 to incorporate modeling trends in data.  Students are asked to make a scatter plot of the speeds for selected years and approximate a line of best fit.  Then they research with the set of data and find a linear regression equation that models it.  Included in this activity are graphing scatter-plots, linear equations, finding the line of best fit, and using a graphing calculator.

In this activity, students are introduced to a spreadsheet.  They will explore cells and functions by setting up a spreadsheet, entering data into it, and using the spreadsheet’s functions to analyze the data.  They also will see how the spreadsheet can be used to make a graph of the data.

Students will use the composite of f and g, f(g(x)), to model a familiar computational game.  They will further investigate composition in relation to the graphs of parent functions.  This activity uses function compositions, function computations, graphing functions, and the use of a graphing calculator.

### Pulse Lab

Students will find their resting heart rate, exercise heart rate, and recovery heart rate to represent positive and negative numbers and find the class average rates.  This lab activity incorporates group activity and class generated data to review addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of integers

### Rate and Distance

Students will measure the time required for battery-powered cars to travel a measured distance, and calculate the speed of the cars.  Based on the comparisons, a winner of the race will be predicted.  An actual race will test the validity of the prediction.  This event incorporates group activity and generated data with substitution and evaluation of formulas.

### SAT

This project uses the percentile rank of SAT scores from the year 2002 to incorporate patterns in data.  Students will use algebra to describe and analyze such patterns.  Included in this activity are graphing scatter-plots, patterns, graphing with coordinates, representing linear patters, and correlations.

#### Super Value

Super Value and Big Bargain are having back to school sales, and students must use the flyers to compare values of each item.  They will then compare the values of sale items and calculate the savings and compute the percent saved.

#### Trail Of Tears

Use the provided information about the Native Americans ceding their homelands to the United States to calculate the distance that each group traveled in miles, the decrease in population, percent of survival in the tribe population, and percent of death in the tribe population and record in a chart.  This activity incorporates percentages with reading and creating charts and graphs.

#### Trail Mix

This project uses a camping supply store’s predicament of manufacturing trail mix to minimize cost and maximize profit with systems of equations.  Students will be asked to explain the meaning of various systems of equations and inequalities.  Then they will graph the systems and use the graphs to find the optimal the optimal way to manufacture trail mix.

#### Wasting Water

Wasting Water is an activity in which students gather data by measuring the amount of water that leaks through a hole in the bottom of a cup to find a trend.  Students are asked to make a scatter plot of the amount of water by time and approximate a line of best fit.  Then they research the same set of data with Excel spreadsheet and find a linear equation that models it.

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