• instruction,  math in real life

    Pablo Escobar’s Hippos and Levels of Inquiry

    As a school, JQUS has been working over the past two years to bring inquiry-based teaching to both our International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP) classes. The IB unit planner starts with a Statement of Inquiry (SOI) that brings together common key and related concepts to create a big idea / conceptual understanding (kind of like an essential question / enduring understanding). For example, my exponential functions unit last year was based on the SOI “Relationships show how change in population and demography connects to the impact of decision-making on humankind and the environment,” with the aim of getting students to apply exponential functions to…

  • instruction

    Evaluating and Graphing Exponential Functions

    I borrowed this from Sam Shah to use as the introduction to exponential functions. I liked the self-guided aspect of this activity. I’m working on instilling more self-sufficiency in my students and learning to let go of the urge to have each minute of the class accounted for.  I would like to work on clearer directions, however. In the second section of class, I demonstrated the first few folds of the paper because many students in the first section just started trying to find the patterns without folding. Additionally, I would like to be able to guide discussions better on the “questions” and “properties” sections. Unit 3, Lesson 2 (Evaluating and Graphing Exponential…

  • instruction

    Contagion

    Photo Credit: trailers.apple.com We started exponential functions today in IB Math Studies. The students attempted to guess the population of the U.S. and the population of the world. Surprisingly, most students guessed way over (about 2 billion). I showed them a clip of the Contagion movie trailer and had them write down the numbers spoken by Jude Law (so that they’d pay attention to the math rather than just the ominous nature of the movie), then see if the pattern matched up with his prediction of 1 billion deaths in 3 months, like in this MathsPig post. Some students asked “are you doing this to scare us away from bird…

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