Reflection: Lesson Planning The Lumber Model Problem - Section 4: Working with the Model

Getting closure on a lesson like this one isn't always easy.  In the students' eyes, the point of the lesson was something about sawmills & lumber.  In the teacher's eyes, however, it was about using a polynomial to model a real-world situation.

As a teacher, I want to know whether my students can move flexibly from the situation in context to the abstract mathematical model.  I want to know whether they understand the sorts of assumptions they made along the way and both the strengths and weaknesses of this approach.

How can I tell whether they've learned any of this?

One idea is to have a sort of debate or final conversation.  Ask the students what they think about the advantages of a mathematical model like this one, and what they think about its limitations.  Ask them how they employed (or didn't) the skills and concepts they've learned so far in this unit or class.  Finally, talk to your students about the difference between your view of this lesson and theirs; it may help them think about math differently.

Closure
Lesson Planning: Closure

The Lumber Model Problem

Unit 3: Cubic Functions
Lesson 11 of 13

Big Idea: In many cases, polynomial functions are ideal mathematical models that support quantitative and abstract reasoning.

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Standards:
Subject(s):
Math, polynomial functions, cubic equations, Algebra 2, master teacher project, models / tables / graphs (mathematical relationships), cubic functions, Algebra 2, function
45 minutes

Jacob Nazeck

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