One of my students is REALLY into Lord of the Rings. What she is doing for her final project is tracking Frodo's journey from the Shire to Mordor. She is trying to calculate how fast he is going at each point in the journey using km per day as her unit, and then comparing to when she's using km per page as her unit. She has all these other ideas about how to analyze the data, and I'm really curious to see them!
I'm having a dilemma about these projects, which is how much calculus should they really include? This one is a good example… I don't know how complex the Calculus will be in this, but the idea is so awesome I want to encourage it and see if some Calculus can pop up!
We are working on final projects all week in Calculus. Kids have split up into groups and are working hard. Even when I give them a million options to do, I love that they want to do something that is their own. I have really creative students this year who have some great ideas. So every day this week I'm going to profile a cool final project idea.
The first: Dawn of the Living Calculus! Two students sent out a link to WordPress page where it tells the visitor that they've been infected. Then there are instructions to send that to 3 more people. They are going to track the infection spreading by looking at the WordPress stats. Tomorrow, I'm going to see if they can try to make a predictive model based on a day of growth. I'm curious to see where this one goes!
Today, I had all my AP students tell me which topics they felt great about and all the topics that they felt like they needed more work on. This will help me teach the class a bit better next time around. I am excited to see the free response questions tomorrow!
Today, I introduced our final project in Calculus. Students can do whatever they want as long as they are investigating and interesting question with mathematics! This year, my students are uber creative and really enthusiastic, so they proposed some great, great ideas. One student is going to investigate the Calculus of Frodo's expedition to Mordor. One group is going to stage a fake CSI murder. One group is going to track data about the nurses office at school to make a model for how often people visit. Great stuff!
The integration drawing projects are starting to come in too… Here is my current favorite.
(Whenever I forget that the creatures in front of me are not yet adults, they do stuff like choose Disney characters for projects. The best.)
We had a long weekend this past weekend, so I went to Beirut with a couple of friends, which was really fun. But our flight path was so fascinating, since we couldn't fly over Israel, Palestine or Damascus, we had to take this crazy curvy route. This brought up so many interesting questions for me (How much more fuel did we use? Was this the optimal path? How do you define optimal when human craziness makes the straight line path unusable?).
Today, we began the annual Integration Drawing Projects, in which students use GeoGebra to convert a picture into mathermatical objects using functions and integrals. I always find this project really fun and interesting, and it does a great job getting kids to find areas of weird regions. It's also the perfect thing to do when kids are in and out of class because of APs… We will be working on this for the next 4 days.