Reflection: Gradual Release Arguments for Volume Formulas for Pyramids and Cones - Section 3: Using Spreadsheets to get Better Approximations


MP.8 is one of my favorite practice standards. To me it's exciting to live in a technological age that allows us to do and represent math powerfully. I love tools like Sketchpad, Geogebra, the graphing calculator, online applets, Wolfram demonstrations, and the classic Excel (or Sheets) Spreadsheet. I love to teach math. Don't get me wrong. But when I am teaching students how to use spreadsheets to do math, I experience a new level of excitement. I'm excited to be sharing this powerful tool with them. I'm also excited to see them thinking mathematically (for example when creating an excel formula or naming a cell) just to use the tool.

At this point in my technology integration journey, however, I still do mostly demonstrations. I haven't found a way to get students to have significant amounts of hands-on time with the technology. Next year, my department will have roving laptops that we can use. I'm hoping to have lessons regularly in which students are on the computers using the tools rather than just watching me use them.

  Teaching MP.8
  Gradual Release: Teaching MP.8
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Arguments for Volume Formulas for Pyramids and Cones

Unit 11: Measurement and Dimension
Lesson 4 of 6

Objective: SWBAT give an informal argument for the volume formulas for pyramids and cones.

Big Idea: Yogi's smarter than the average bear and a cone's like a cylinder with an average base. After this lesson, students will know what this all means.

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