Fun stuff today at school!

In precalc, we talked about parametric equations yesterday. I'm normally not the sort to do any sort of application-type problems (give me bad flashbacks of high school and college physics - yuck!) but I've been expanding my horizons this year!

Last night I was trying to think of something fun I could do with polar coordinates (like something with radar screens or battleship) and re-discovered my list of all of the topics covered in the TV show Numb3rs. They actually had 4 - 5 shows that addressed parametric equations, so I took a look. I ended up downloading an episode about a plane crash and the resulting trajectory of the plane parts. They had a nice activity online (here) using quadratics, vectors, and parametric equations to predict where things would land. I think the kids enjoyed it - or they at least enjoyed watching part of the show! There's actually a problem on the activity (which I retyped, so I don't know what number it is from the original packet) that I can't figure out... and my smartest kids can't, either. Hmm. (Here's my version.)

In my Integrated class we're talking about Systems of Inequalities (and I'm so ready to be done with Systems!). I was planning on just a random practice worksheet today before we moved on until I saw Dan Greene's post about an activity he did in his Algebra 1 class with systems. (Yes!) It was a cute little worksheet where the kids graph systems of inequalities to lead them through a temple. The worksheet promises "a sweet treasure" when they make it through - so glad I had some twizzlers stashed in my desk!

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