## Negative Exponents? Ugh

This activity/post is a little different than are usual posts.  We look at a particular math concept and consider how to use context, models and CCSS math practices to increase student understanding.  This activity focuses on negative exponents.  Even if you aren't teaching negative exponents, this is a great opportunity to look at non-linear growth or positive exponents.

We use examples of a plant and a beanstalk growing exponentially and ask kids to determine the height of these plants in the future (growing at the same rate).  Students skip ahead several inputs and are forced to consider a rule to model the situation.

## Free Resources for Authentic Mathematics

On Thursday evening Leslie and Brian spoke at Boston College as part of the ATMIM (Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Massachusetts) Winter Conference.  Our presentation was on making mathematics meaningful to students.  We shared, did and discussed math activities from our site with our participants.  We also mentioned other web resources that provide free math activities that are meaningful to students and wish to mention them here as well.

1. Dan Meyer: http://blog.mrmeyer.com/ Patient Problem Solving and hooking students into learning math through the use of video. On the right-hand column of his blog, Dan has a section called "My Curricula" which contains some wonderful activities. Dan's philosophy is presented in this TED presentation.
2. Emergent Math: http://emergentmath.wordpress.com/ Inquiry based activities.

The following are some sites where we find tons of useful data that you can use in your own creations.

Do you have a site that you would like to suggest that has free authentic math problems or activities?  Or do you have a site that offers loads of good stats?  If so, please leave your suggestion in the comments of this post!  🙂

## When is Tebow Time?

Tim Tebow is the talk of the sporting world.  This Saturday he goes up against Tom Brady and the Patriots in the Playoffs.  I keep hearing about "Tebow Time" and I wonder at what point in a game that usually occurs?  Have your students take a look at Tim Tebow's situational stats, by quarter, and overtime to determine when Tebow is at his best.  Ask students to support their claim with graphs or statistics.

## The Euro and the international debt crisis

Lately the news is filled with talk of the Euro, US foreign debt, the fragility of European monetary systems, and the interdependence of all of these crisis.

In this activity students become familiar with the Euro, practice translating the Euro's value to dollar amounts, and work with comparisons of debt, gross domestic products, and average debts per person.  Students will gain a better appreciation of what the news is all about. They will become familiar with the value of the Euro, can appreciate the complexity of the present financial crisis, and will be able to contribute to financial observations and discussions at home.

CCSS: 6.RP.1 , 6.RP.2 , 6. RP.3 , 7.RP.1 , 7.RP.2

For members we have solutions already worked out.

## Launch of the next ISS crew

If all goes well, the next crew of the International Space Station (the ISS) will launch on Sunday, Novemeber 13, 2011 from the  Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Keep your student informed and excited about what is happening above our planet by letting them calculate the roominess of the Soyuz transport as compared to our retired Shuttles.  Students analyze the costs and capacities of the two vehicles (Shuttle and Soyuz) and come to some conclusions, as our space agency did, about the kind of vehicle that gives the most benefit for the buck.

Solutions, editable Word doc and observations for members.

CCSS: 4.MD, 5.MD.3, 6.RP.3

## Parabolic Pee

Mr. Mark's new little baby can make some amazingly tall streams.  Give your class a little chuckle as you introduce them to parabolic motion with this very short analysis of Mr. Mark's baby's talent.

CCSS: 8.F.5, HSA.CED.2, HSA.REI, HSG.MG.3

Solutions for members are below.