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Stacking Cups

Yesterday's algebra class was great. We definitely fulfilled my goal of having more fun in math class. The night before last I had read an article linking curiosity with increased learning and engagement. Then yesterday's class illustrated that point perfectly.

We are finishing up our unit on graphing linear equations. There are many resources available online to support this concept, so many that it was very difficult to choose. I used Dan's stacking cups. Me being me, I made a handout.

I was so impressed by what seems like such a simple idea... a stack of cups... holds rigorous concepts that my students were determined to figure out. While they got that the lip height was the slope pretty easily, they wrestled with the y intercept. I resisted the urge to tell them and instead told them to measure total height for one cup, then two cups to be sure their rule worked.
They were engaged for the entire class period. I heard kids debating the concepts. The curiosity to learning link was evident. Great lesson.

Actually stacking the cups is key!

Today in class, I had them summarize the task on their math blogs.

Blog Prompt

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