To get my students set up for understanding the next part of their quiz, I brought up images of Steve Madden shoes. I told them I had just seen an interview with Steve Madden on television and that I really was impressed with his life story. I wasn't able to find a student appropriate you tube video about his life because of his connection to the Wolf of Wallstreet and his prison sentence. I wanted to focus on his creativity, his current life and why he became a shoe designer in the first place.
So, I quickly gave them a brief history of Steve Madden getting interested in designing shoes from simply working in shoe stores in New York. After looking at a collection of his designs, we talked about the math that is involved in creating shoes. I switched the focus of the discussion to real world application and understanding that when people design shoes, they need measurements in relative units in order to fit the feet of their customers.
I asked them: What are your favorite pair of shoes and why? One student told me his favorite pair were a pair of Van's that he saved up for. He wears them once and awhile but he doesn't wear them out to play. He can wear them to school on nice days and never wears them in the snow.
As we talked, each of us could share at least one pair of shoes that we treasured.
To close, I showed them this really cool video of a Louis Vitton Shoe Factory. It is silent, but it shows exactly how a pair of women's dress shoes are made and all that is involved. I explained that the wooden mold is called a "last."
I designed this quiz to allow students to apply their measuring and conversion skills to the real world. I passed out their quiz instruction papers with the conversion charts and explained in detail that I wanted them to design a shoe that would fit them.
I asked: How do you think you would go about designing a shoe to fit your foot? A student answered that we would need to meaure. I explained that measurements were important and that we needed to include measurements of different parts of our foot. I asked them if it made sense to only measure the length of your foot? Students shook their heads. I asked: Why? One boy said that his foot is extra wide and that if someone didn't measure his foot, he would have shoes that were too tight. So, the thought it was important to include width.
I went over expectations carefully and explained that they could take their shoe drawings home to finish, but I wanted them do do all of the measuring first and conversions. I wanted them to show me those before they started to design their shoe.