Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Proportional and Nonproportional Relationships - Can you find the constant? - Section 2: Explore


As a way to introduce the concept of a constant speed or rate, I had students work in groups to complete the tortoise speed investigation.  For my advanced block, I was able to just give them brief instructions and then they were able to complete the investigation and answer the questions as a group.  For my regular blocks, I found that I had to break down the investigation into parts and almost walk them through it.  I set the scene by saying that the tortoise moves 10.5 inches in 3 seconds, use what you have learned so far this year to determine how far the tortoise can go in 1 second.  All groups were successful with that.  Then, we took a look at the table, and I guided the students through filling out the first couple columns, and then groups were able to finish.  I did the same with the ratios.  I gave all groups a few minutes to ponder the questions, and finally I asked the students to come up with a word that would describe the tortoise's rate of speed, and after a few minutes I gave them a hint that the word started with "c."  In each of my blocks at least one person was able to come up with the word "constant" which I then shouted excitedly, as that word is so important and key to determining if a relationship is proportional - that I wanted kids to see how meaningful the word was to me :)

  Tortoise Investigation Reflection
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Tortoise Investigation Reflection
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Proportional and Nonproportional Relationships - Can you find the constant?

Unit 2: Proportional Reasoning
Lesson 5 of 14

Objective: Students will be able to distinguish between proportional and nonproportional relationships.

Big Idea: You have heard of moving at a constant speed or doing something at a constant rate - but did you know that was a proportional relationship?

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tortoise investigation 2
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