Posted on October 23, 2009

# A Math Problem

One of my mentors, Michael Kaechele, asked me if I could come up with some sort of problem for his math class. His math class is currently taking a unit on perimeter, area, and volume. I wanted to do something a bit more than just a little word problem . I decided to use a video and create a real-life problem, similar to what Dan Meyer does (although nowhere near as good).

I used the University of Regina’s Academic Green as my example and asked how far of a walk it would be to walk around the perimeter of it (assuming it is a perfect circle). I measured in steps, mostly because I didn’t have anything capable of measuring a large distance and partly because I felt it brings a real life aspect to the problem. I then took it further to incorporate an area problem and asked how big of an ice rink could I fit into the green if I wanted to do so. To close off the video, I ask what is wrong with how I measured for problem, hoping to spark some thoughts that maybe steps isn’t the best or most consistent way to measure. I also hope they discuss the fact that the green isn’t a perfect circle, and how that could change the problems.

Anyways, this is my final product:

Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions for any future videos!

This math problem was excellent. I plan to use it with my class when we get to perimeter and area. I can’t wait to see what you come up for our class. You have a real creative talent Kyle and I can see your dedication and enthusiasm to your working with students and math. Job well done.

I’m so glad you can also use it. My third mentorship, with Mike Poluk, is also planning on using it. We’ll discuss what I can maybe do for your class when we connect tomorrow!

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Hey great problem Kyle. What program did you use to make that? Very well done…I’m pretty sure the middle of campus is an ellipse not a circle but whatever hey..that would make this problem a lot harder haha. Great work though man, I enjoyed it.

I used Windows Movie Maker to make it. But I had to use Photo Story to get the panorama image to pan like it did then import it. That was the trickiest part of the whole thing. And yes the campus is an ellipse, but that’s all part of the what’s wrong with these questions. I’m hoping that the students will pick up that the answer isn’t exactly right since it isn’t a perfect circle.

Ahh Photo Story…good idea. Windows Movie Maker is really limited but I guess it’s all about importing. (I’ll probably end up trying that out sometime thanks man). Haha yeah there might be one or two who pick up on it…what grade is your class?

Dan- Yeah it’s really tricky to get it to do exactly what you want to. I find it hard placing text where you want to and it’s tricky to get images to pop up over the video. If you find a program that works better and is free I would love to give it a shot.

Shelby- I think this way to present problems is fantastic! I would have loved some real life, practical problems when I was in school, but I wasn’t lucky enough to have any. I’m hoping to incorporate them as much as possible when I begin teaching!

Also, an update: All three of my mentorships are planning on using this video for their classes, not just the one class I had intended.

I thought that was really neat! I think using videos like that is a great way to get kids interested in math and solving those kinds of problems. Kids are always asking “how am I ever going to use this?” A perfect example of how to use it, and it looked great! Good Job:)!

Here is our class’s solution: http://www.screentoaster.com/watch/stUk9WR0RIR1xZRlheXllRVlVd/academic_green_problem

Very well done! I hope everyone enjoyed doing this problem as much as I did making it! Anyone else that uses it please let me know how it turns out!

Kyle – thank you so much for sharing this math problem. I used it when I gave short presentations to our math teachers in the Living Sky School Division (Battlefords).

That’s awesome Donna! How did you use it exactly?

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You post awsome posts. Bookmarked !