Reflection: Real World Applications Be Reasonable - Section 1: Set the Stage


This reflection is about some of the struggles students have with real-world problems and data.  Because most data doesn't fit a perfect line or curve students tend to think that either their data or their calculations are wrong.  Some students also have a hard time with this particular lesson because it is more open-ended than they are accustomed to.  For the first problem I've found that a group or class discussion about the nature of data generally reassures my perfectionists who want everything to fit together exactly.  We talk about things they're already comfortable with like differences in height or how many of each kind of apple make up a pound.  Most students can accept these differences and I use them to build a better understanding of data.  For the second problem I've found that giving a bit more structure as needed helps to encourage students to take a chance.  What this problem is really about is student insecurity and fear of failure, so I try to give additional direction in as small an increment as possible while still avoiding too much student frustration. (a little frustration is a good motivator!)  Overall, I like to incorporate real-world applications and data into my lessons to make them more relevant, but I try to stay on top of possible problems my students might encounter and prepare appropriate interventions.

  Structured or Not?
  Real World Applications: Structured or Not?
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Be Reasonable

Unit 6: Algebraic Reasoning
Lesson 1 of 7

Objective: SWBAT solve simple rational equations.

Big Idea: Learn to be reasonable and rational by solving rational equations.

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