MTBOS New Year!

This is the year I will be blogging a lot about math and technology. I’ve been doing more lately, but want to blog deeply about specific math content as well as what’s going on in my day-to-day life and thinking.

The blogging task of the month is to share a lesson you’re happy about. I don’t work with students everyday anymore, so don’t have student work to share, but I do have some artifacts from lessons past!

My last year at Computech Middle School I gave my students at the end of the year an adaptation of the Domino Spiral Task. (Inspired by Dan Meyer’s 101qs and Timon Piccini)

I gave them the first video as a loop and told them they could solve it any way they wanted – knowing it would be an approximation. Many methods were used – area, circumference, counting and approximating, etc. They loved it! Everyone made guesses of course for how long it would take to get all the way around based on their calculations. This is a video of the big reveal. You can see when certain kids’ estimations were revealed to be too short and when one particular kid gets it right! If this video doesn’t show how great curiosity can be in a math classroom I don’t know what would!

domino spiral reflection from Brandon Dorman on Vimeo.

I was happy with this lesson because it succeeded in making them really THINK! Many students came up with more than one solution and helped one another. They worked on it for a couple of days because often that was how long it took. I loved watching kids watching the video over and over… and I loved the collaborative spirit.
If I was still in the classroom, I’d want to do projects like this every week except have the kids make the videos explaining their work more often.

Note: That was my smallest class and not all kids wanted to be on camera; most classes were about 40… that was only 24 and thus often was able to do the most exploring.

Short Reflection Document with links to source material

Article I wrote about technology students used in creating this. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *