## Saturday, August 23, 2008

### Wikki Stix & Me

A while back I was first introduced to Wikki Stix at a calculus workshop where the presenter showed how she taught slope fields by having large pieces of graph paper around the room, and each group had a differential equation and each person in the group had a point or 2 or 3, and they were to calculate the slope and stick the piece of wikki stix on that point in the appropriate slope. Super cool.

I was at a teacher supply store the other day, and found 48 for \$5.95, and bought them thinking I could find some use for them. Well, now I have 2 things so far. On the first day of school, I will review functions and lead to function notation and how to read f(x) and find f(3) and find x such that f(x) = 6, etc, by first handing out premade graphs/grids/coordinate planes to each student and one wikki stix (stick?) to each kid. I'll first instruct them to plop down a "graph", and maybe have them decide if they're functions or not and maybe have themselves walk with their graphs and separate into 2 camps of functions and non functions. They can then self correct by glancing at others and discussing it amongst themselves. Then I'll say find your f(3), and separate yourselves into like groups (how to deal with non integers .....???). Anyway, you get the idea. I could do more.

My second idea is what I think is an improvement on an old activity I've done with precal in the past regarding learning the sine and cosine graphs. But my teacher friend (who I first learned to teach with/from) in another state basically does the same activity but with Wikki Stix. She has them do the measuring of the angles and the heights, not with a string, but with the Stix. Also, once they measure the "height", they snip the Stix into that length and "stick" it down on their graph. So ultimately, later on you have a Wikki Stix sine curve graph. Way cool and something I'll try this year .... though with 3 precal classes of (current sizes) 37, 32, 30ish, how much will that cost?