Sunday, June 7, 2009

What Can You Do with This: At the Gym

I have Definite Ideas for how I want to develop the supporting structure for this lesson, but I want to hear what you have to say, crowd. (You are supposed to be wise.) Directions here, if you need em.

unapologetic said...

Estimating the distance covered by each runner.

samjshah said...

Actually, this is a great idea for calculus too, indeed. I wonder if I took that video of the runner and put it side by side with the panel (but blocking out the distance), I could have students discuss how they would figure out the distance run.

And you could have a video where the runner is constant, and videos where the runner is changing his/her speed.

Actually, I guess it's almost the same thing as the standard example of a car. But having more exemplars is always helpful.

I think the video as-is is kind-of confusing... I guess I am a little slow and am confused about all the cutting from one person to another/one panel to another.

Just looking at the panels, assuming it is the same person running, is the fundamental question:

At what time between 21 and 31 seconds did the runner change his/her speed, at what time between 33 and 46 seconds did the runner change his/her speed, and at what time between 48 and 56 seconds did the runner change his/her speed?

Dan Meyer said...

"How far?" and "How fast?" are both visceral, gripping questions. "Who ran farther?" and "Who ran faster?" are, in my mind, stronger questions because they allow only three possible answers (the third being a tie) and tap into a student's understanding of the world, first, before asking for a mathematical calculation.

Sam has some good thoughts here, especially with respect to the editing. It's crucial, I think, to just let the camera run as long as possible from a fixed position. You seem to have edited out the boring bits, where the speed changes, but the boredom is somewhat crucial to the WCYDWT? experience, I think.

Life doesn't edit out the boring bits. Life includes them and asks the person to decide for herself what is important. The editing answers that question for her.

I may try to shoot this one myself and we can squabble over the results. Inspiring, in any case.

Kate Nowak said...

Good point about cutting it too close to the relevant parts.

The treadmill display shows four different speeds. And then three people running for ~12 seconds each at three different speeds. One person has very short legs and one person has very long legs.

I was going for, "Who is running at which speed?"

Next I would like to add in a timer for each runner counting off ten seconds. Then a length reference, so we can measure stride length (a certain portion of the treadmill deck is exactly 5 ft long.) Not sure I have the software to accomplish this, though.

I think the delivered lesson will end up being applying existing knowledge of d = rt but what they will really end up practicing is unit conversions.

Dan Meyer said...

Nice extension. I found myself focusing on two discolored spots of the treadmil and wondering what the distance was between them.

What software did you use to cut this together?

Kate Nowak said...

From the back of the bulky plastic piece in the front, to the edge of the silver strip in the back is 5 ft.

Diagram

I used iMovie.