In day 3 of this lesson, students finish solving their linear programming problem and create 5 to 10 minute presentations. There is lots of room for student choice in this project. Students can help define the criteria that their projects will be graded on, grade and/or give feedback on each other’s work, and decide how they will do their presentations (for example, tri-fold poster board, butcher block paper, PowerPoint presentation, etc). I find giving students as much involvement in the process of the projects as possible will help to increase their feeling of ownership in their work.
The purpose of the opening of class today is to have students brainstorm idea for the criteria they think the presentation of the project should be graded on. I ask students, “If you were the teacher, what would you be looking for when you grade these presentations?” I discuss and refine the criteria as we go, seeking additional feedback from students. Students may present ideas like: clarity and understanding, appearance of the presentation, and group participation. Because I work in a small school and have a fair amount of flexibility, I ask students how they would like to share their work. I might consider doing a Gallery Walk for the all or part of the school, or schedule some presentation time where staff and other students can watch presentations.
I explain to students that the goals for today are to have them solve their problems, and get the majority of their presentations finished.
Students work in their small groups. They should be ready to solve their problems by graphing a profit/cost line. Once they have their answer, I tell them to decide how they will present their work. Some groups may need help organizing the work and delegating tasks so everyone in the group is working. Here is a simple document that I give students to help them get started:
There are many different ways students can share and/or present their work. For this project, I usually do mine in as a Math Fair. For a Math Fair I invite other students and staff to participate. I create Math Fair Feedback Sheets for staff and other students to fill out as they listen to students' presentations.
End of Class Reflection: On an index card, I ask students to reflect on their learning about linear programming. I ask them to respond to the prompt, “How has your understanding of linear programming problems changed or been enhanced by working on this project?”
Homework: Tonight, students will each complete a short write-up individually about their project. The write-up asks students to write their problem, share the answer, and prove how they know their answer is the best one.
Some of this material is adapted from the IMP Teacher’s Guide, © 2010 Interactive Mathematics Program. Some rights reserved.