Reflection: Real World Applications Calculating Speed Day 1 - Section 3: Part 1: What was your sprinting speed?


Students really enjoyed using their data to calculate their speed.  By breaking down the more complex question of “How fast were you running in miles per hour?” into smaller questions, more students were able to access and solve the problems.  I ended up passing out calculators to each group during this part of the lesson.  Some students used them and some students did not.  I collected students’ work at the end of the lesson and here are some of my observations.

Unit 5.10 Accurate Calculation.jpg

Most students who used a calculator to were able to accurately calculate their speed in miles per hour.  This student had a speed of 27,720 feet per hour.  She was able to use the conversion fact of 1 mile = 5280 feet to set up a proportion.  Using the calculator she was able to find that 27,720 feet is equivalent to 5.25 miles. 

Unit 5.10 Labeling Mistake.jpg

Some students were able to find the correct speed, but made mistakes in labeling their answers.  This student used the calculator to divide 28,800 feet by 5280 feet.  She found her sprinting speed was about 5.45 miles per hour.  She mistakenly wrote 28,800 miles/1 hour as part of her answer. 

Unit 5.10 Conversion Trouble.jpg

Other students made mistakes converting their speed from one unit to another.  This student accurately calculated his sprinting speed as 41,040 feet/ hour.  In trying to change his speed into miles per hour he starts adding groups of 5280 feet.  He ends up adding 3 groups of 10,560 feet and gets 42,240 feet.  Since his amount is more than his total of 41,040 feet, he estimates to about 3 miles per hour.  He counted each group of 10,560 feet as one mile, instead of two miles.  He did not stop to make an estimate or use the calculator and ended up with a speed that was much lower than his actual speed of 7.77 miles per hour.

At the beginning of the next lesson I gave students their work back.  I asked how students could estimate to make a reasonable guess of their sprinting speed.  I also asked students how they could use a calculator to find a more precise measure of their speed.  

  Real World Applications: Student Work: Converting measures of speed
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Calculating Speed Day 1

Unit 5: Proportional Reasoning: Ratios and Rates
Lesson 11 of 21

Objective: SWBAT: • Make conversions to determine my speed using different units • Use multiplication and division to calculate rates

Big Idea: What was your sprinting speed in miles per hour? Students use conversions and rates to calculate their speed.

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