Today was the first day back from Thanksgiving break. I planned everything that I did in class today this morning because I was completely unmotivated to do any schoolwork over the last week. But I think I had a pretty good lesson plan put together. Last night Lauren, Ben, and I went to meet my in-laws at the Columbia Zoo for the light festival. One of the concession stands was selling hot chocolate. I snapped a picture because I immediately knew this would work as a nice linear equations lesson.
I created a few questions and had the students compare prices for different numbers of cups purchased and at what levels it would be better to buy the regular hot chocolate or the souvenir hot chocolate.
Even as I type this I think if I do this lesson again I will just throw the image up on the screen and ask the class which one they would buy and why AND THEN have them do all the questions they prepared. I think maybe I kinda mathed it up too much and took away the natural curiosity that would have been helpful to the lesson.
But overall it went well and there was even one student who was grasping at very elementary ideas of limits without knowing it when I asked about cost per cup. We had made a chart of number of cups, total cost, and cost per cup and were considering how the cost per cup changed as we purchased more and more refills. I asked the class if we could ever get the cost per cup below a dollar and he asserted “Yeah, if we went out far enough” which I thought was a great way to phrase it. So I had the class calculate the cost per cup if we bought 1,000 cups of hot chocolate and then I asked them about how they thought the zoo made money off the hot chocolate. I got some great responses out of that from a few students as well, but not all of them.
I could tell that some of my students were tired coming back from Thanksgiving Break. It was the Monday following 5 days off after all. My voice started to go because this was the most I had talked in 9 days. The break was also why I did a lot of review for our Monday notetaking rather than trying to cover new material. I wanted to refresh their memories from last week. (And they needed more practice on the formula for slope.)
Tomorrow I am going to retry that activity about comparing slopes that I attempted last week but ruined by having too many lines. This time there will only be 2 lines to compare. I can really sense the tiredness of the class and my own tiredness. There are only 14 days left until Christmas break and we have exams after that so I need to push through to the end. I am worried we will not make it to the final subject of the course, which is arithmetic sequences. But I think if I err on the side of spending “too much” time on linear equations it will not be the end of the world.
Thanks for reading.