Weekly Exploration Assignments

 A couple of years ago I started a weekly Delta Math assignment for my Precalc students. I used it as a way to review material we'd already covered and also review skills that they'd need for upcoming topics.

I really like it... it helps when it comes to exam time because students have seen material fairly recently and it helps that we don't have to prep as much for new topics.

This semester I started doing my weekly assignments a little differently.  In the past I've given an "Explore Math" project once a quarter but with the uncertainty of school this past fall I wasn't ready to commit.  So instead I've incorporated it into my weekly assignments.

Every other week I ask students to do some sort of exploration. Here's what we've done so far: 

1.  Students researched a few colleges to see what math classes they'd have to take depending on their interests. I wanted them to really think about what would be their best choice for next year (stats vs calc). This was a google doc that they submitted on Schoology.

2. They listened to a podcast from NPR about Dajae Williams, then responded to a discussion post on Schoology with their thoughts. Here is a collection of comments I put together.

3. I asked students to watch this Numberphile video called How Pi Was Nearly Changed to 3.2 and answer some questions about it (like how would the area of a 12" pizza change if pi was different).

4.  When we were getting ready to graph trig functions they watched the Numberphile video called Beautiful Trigonometry and left their response in a comment on Schoology.

5. Students created an image from an online Spirograph (remember those? I think we have one somewhere) and submitted it to Schoology.

6. This week students are going to Mathigon to read about how math is involved in different industries (their choice).  So far I've heard about math in weather, gambling, CDs & DVDs, the coastline, coral reefs, space, data analysis, artificial intelligence, and several other topics.  It's been fun to see what they chose to read about and why!

We'll only have a few more weeks (because I want to keep them on Delta Math every other week). I'd like to get them "doing" more, so coming up will be some sort of creation... a poem, math in pictures, etc.