Reflection: Modeling Temperature Slopes and Meaning-Making - Section 1: Warm-up


I found an interesting blog post that seems like it's relevant to the purpose of this lesson - and many more to come - that there is a connection between our mathematical thinking and the real, physical, world..

The full article is here. 

But here is an excerpt from a July 25th post to a blog called EvolutionBlog. Jason Rosenhouse writes about the disconnect between mathematics and reality.  This is the end of an anecdote about comparing the population of Kansas to the entire US.  His classroom was a group of pre-service elementary teachers:

Well, it turned out that .97 percent of the population lived in Kansas. Several people, alas, made a decimal point error and arrived at an answer of 9.7 percent. Now, anyone can make a decimal point error. No shame in that. I pointed out, though, that they could have caught the error had they realized the implausibility of suggesting that one in ten Americans lived in Kansas. I noted that around three million people lived in Kansas, as compared to eight million who lived in New York City. They just stared at me blankly. It had never occurred to them that the answer should actually have some connection to reality.


  Motivation for this lesson
  Modeling: Motivation for this lesson
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Temperature Slopes and Meaning-Making

Unit 1: Thermodynamics
Lesson 2 of 14

Objective: Students reflect on the their heated water graphs, drawing meaning from the slope of the graphs and relating temperature change to the physical characteristics of their lab trials.

Big Idea: Physical systems can be modeled by mathematical and graphical relationships.

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