Thursday, 29 August 2013

How Tall is the Clock Tower?

I was chatting to a girl I tutored last year. She was entered early for her GCSE and we'd been meeting semi-regularly since Year 9 to keep her motivation and interest levels up. Closer to the exam we met once every week and worked through exam papers and I am so pleased to tell you that she got an A in her exam. As a reward, we went for lunch yesterday and for a milkshake - to follow up on the 'If you get a B, I'll take you out for Nandos' promise. Whilst there, she mentioned that her teacher had taken her class outside to investigate with trigonometry. Her exact words were 'It didn't work. No one had a clue what to do. I had to teach them all it'. I don't like the idea of taking my class outside to measure the height of the school, and so I've designed an activity that we can do without leaving the classroom.

I think trig is a very interesting topic and one that can be taken a long, long way. My thoughts about how I'll introduce trigonometry this year is to have groups investigate different triangles and discuss the ratios (poor explanation, but I have a lesson planned and it will go well, I'm sure...) before going on to this activity:

I made an inclinometer today with the help of a straw from the milkshake place yesterday and this resource.

Using this, I went out this afternoon and did some measuring...

I'll cover up the right hand side of this image before we get right into it. I suppose that here we ask if the triangle's the triangle we're supposed to be measuring and maybe get another picture from the side view with the triangle raised to my eye-level.

These were the measurements I took, and may be a little rough as my girlfriend read the inclinometer for me! I intend to have her take some pictures of the inclinometer looking up at the top of the the tower from both distances.

Distance from base of clock tower = 10m, Angle from inclinometer = 23 degrees.
Distance from base of clock tower = 20m, Angle from inclinometer = 40 degrees.

From this we'll get a rough height and be able to answer this question to finish:

Angle from inclinometer = 75 degrees.

Obviously, in between and afterwards they'll get the chance to do a lot of practise.

#makeovermonday - Modelling cost per minute

I've been following Dan Meyer's #makeovermonday over summer and I very much enjoyed Phil Aldridge's attempt at modelling cost per minute over at Like Teaching.

I've never done anything as exciting as travelling - the closest I get is going to local golf courses - so I've had to steal his idea and put it together as images that I feel I'll get the best use out of. Sorry Phil.

Here are my images...

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Which Voucher...?

After receiving a tweet from @MrNickHart regarding my last blog post, and having a quick read of his blog post here I decided to do something a bit more straightforward. Calculate the percentage saving and compare to the money saving - choose the voucher you'd prefer to use...

Which Coupon...?

I had two favourites on my Firefox regarding coupons, both from Robert Kaplinsky. If you haven't already, I strongly suggest that you have a look through his lessons.

They're both American, so I favourited them with 'REDESIGN' next to the title, to make them a little more relevant to my pupils. The first of which is a 'Which Chinese Food Coupon Should I Use?'. I took this and used Domino's Pizza:

The assumption is that you know you'll spend £25. The challenge is 'Which coupon should you use?'.
What if you wanted to buy Chicken Wings? Which coupon should you use?

The second is 'Which Michaels Coupon Should I Use?'. I don't know what Michaels is... but I do know Maplin.

To go with this, I have chosen a scenario... You're an aspiring DJ and you need to get some equipment. Maplin offer what you want and you see these two coupons in the local newspaper.
You need two things... a low cost item (Carbon Fibre Record Cleaner at £12.99) and a high cost item (Numark MixTrack Pro II at £179.99). These are things that you might want multiple of (in case of loss, in the low cost item case, and to mix more tracks in the case of the high cost item)...

Here are your different purchase scenarios...
1. You are purchasing three of the lower priced items.
2. You are purchasing two of the lower priced items and one of the higher priced items.
3. You are purchasing one of the lower priced items and two of the higher priced items.
4. You are purchasing three of the higher priced items.

Which coupon do you use? and when?