Solving Current Events: Math, Design, Global Connection

Who knew Facebook actually could be inspiring?

A friend recently posted this video

http://www.rferl.org/media/video/upcycling-refugee-style/27587634.html

And then the wheels started to turn when I saw this picture…

30c8feb800000578-3426430-image-a-75_1454341622703

How many lifejackets are there? What area is taken up by life jackets? Ooohhhh…I see rectangles, trapezoids, and triangles.  I can connect what we have been studying in geometry to what we are moving on to next: ratios and unit rates. Not only is there math, but  we can write, do some design thinking, and develop a greater understanding of the greater world. Here is the lesson. Please feel free to comment. All ideas are welcome.

Before doing the math lesson, I might have students read one of the two articles and notice and wonder about some images.

time.com/4023601/migrant-crisis-greece-lesvos/

https://newsela.com/articles/migrants-techsavvy/id/12077/

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 12.20.46 PM

I would then show students this image, asking what they notice and wonder. We might record their noticings and wonderings using Poll Everywhere or Pear Deck, or I might chart their ideas on chart paper. I like using technology because then everyone is able to share at once, but I also like when students share ideas orally because it tends to generate even more and creates excitement in the classroom.Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 12.19.34 PM

We would then zoom in and add new noticings and wonderings.

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 12.19.41 PM

and zoom in even more to finally see what is actually there.

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 12.19.48 PM

Now enters math… I would start our math class telling students it is time to think like a mathematician and have them ask some mathematical questions.

From the list we generated I would hope that these two would arise. Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 12.21.13 PM

Then I would ask what information do you need to answer those questions. We would create a list of information that is needed and then give them the following information.

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 12.21.21 PM

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 10.32.47 AMNow comes the fun…planning, persevering, and solving. After students have been working for a bit, if I notice a lot of struggling, I might stop them and ask them…Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 12.21.50 PMScreen Shot 2016-03-09 at 12.38.27 PM

If students are still struggling, or for those students that need additional supports, I might share with them the shapes I saw and let them work form that.Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 12.23.57 PM

After students were given time to solve for the two questions, we would share out strategies and engage in Mathematical Practice #3: Critiquing and Justifying.

I would then share with them the data that was in the article:

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 12.22.12 PM

At another time, I would then ask students…Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 12.22.19 PM

We would engage in some creative design thinking and come up with some uses for 450,000 life jackets. I would then share the video that inspired this lesson and we would read. this article.

Lastly, here are a few extensions…

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 12.23.16 PM

Here is the Ratio and area lesson Refugee if you would like to use it.

As I write this all down, it feels long.  I wonder what I might change. What do you think?

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One thought on “Solving Current Events: Math, Design, Global Connection

  1. Pingback: Solving Current Events: A Follow Up | A Nomadic Teacher

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