This year I am teaching algebra and geometry again – new school, same subjects. I have decided to do no introduction or ice breaker activities. No syllabus on day 1 (which I never have done) either.
Last year I did the straw bridge challenge and I loved it and definitely recommend it. But I am scrapping it this year due to the time constraints of focusing on CCSS in a district that is still giving the STAR test. So I choose these two activities for their more direct relationship to standards I must teach, as well as their low entry point and interesting hooks.
Day 1 in algebra is going to be my Getting to Vegas problem, which is simply a personalization of a problem Dan Meyer describes here. When I was living in Forestville some friends and I decided to go to Vegas. There are two airports that we could have used – the smaller local airport in Santa Rosa, or the larger airport in San Francisco. Which airport should I have took, or will I take next time? I have screen grabs of all relevant information in the slides.
A couple extensions: How long would the Vegas trip need to be in order for the Santa Rosa airport to be cheaper? (Eventually the more expensive parking at SFO takes over). Or Dan’s scenario of taking a shuttle from Santa Rosa to the San Francisco airport vs. driving directly to San Francisco.
In geometry I’m starting with Dan’s Taco Cart problem. I am just going to go to keep it as Dan vs. Ben, because I am a bit intimated on day1 to follow Fawn’s more interactive implementation allowing students to choose their own paths.
This is an exercise with the Pythagorean Theorem, which is great for day 1 because they have all seen it before.