Reflection: Standards Alignment Modeling the Speed of Tsunamis with Square Roots - Section 2: Making a Plan


My students were a bit overwhelmed with the concept of coming up with an entire plan to solve a complex problem that provided no scaffolding.  After looking at the of the Common Core performance tasks, this is a CRUCIAL skill that will need some serious development as the SBAC and PARCC tests become mandatory. 

Many pairs of students realized that they needed to find the distance between the earthquake and the target cities.  This is where they got stuck.  I stopped the class to talk about this earlier than I planned as many groups stalled without getting very far.  Fortunately, enough of the groups had some ideas that I could use the share outs as a time to provide scaffolding.  

I had my students share what their current Plan was as well as things that they needed to know at the end of the class.  Once we had this, I asked if anyone could help out with the Need to Know column.  This brought up Pythagorean Theorem and some of the conversions tools without me having to bring them up.  The groups were then able to move on and build their plan.  

  Standards Alignment: The Plan
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Modeling the Speed of Tsunamis with Square Roots

Unit 5: Radical Functions and Equations
Lesson 1 of 8

Objective: Students will be able to write find the speed of a tsunami given a square root function.

Big Idea: Students build a plan to determine the time it takes a tsunami to travel.

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