## Saturday, September 29, 2007

### Angular Speed

We started working on linear and angular speed, and I presented a few examples of what you would calculate and how to calculate, but some students still struggled. Today in one class this seemed to work. I was looking around for something familiar to link their knowledge to, and lo and behold, THE CLOCK. So I asked them to quietly ("let other people figure it out for themselves") find the angular speed of the second hand of the clock (I had to call it the "red stick" for the students that didn't know the term). "Ahhhhhh". Then we worked on the angular speed of the "long black" stick (minute hand) and the "short black" stick.

I also handed out colored paper that had a large unit circle on it (I bought it special for you at the store) and thin spaghetti (everyone gets one especially chosen for them). We worked on initial and terminal sides of angles in standard position. Then to start discussing reference triangles, I said that they were joining a math cult today, and every time we passed each other in the hall we had to repeat our special phrase: always drop the perpendicular to the x-axis. We practiced our cult voices for a bit. Then I assessed their reference triangle knowledge with the spaghetti. Hopefully, this will prevent students from drawing their reference triangles incorrectly as some have before.

1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2. Anonymous9:17 PM

Did you do this with your calculus kids or another class....I love using angel hair pasta with mine when we started talking about derivatives and their graphs. (They make awesome tangent lines on the overhead!)

I always love your creative ideas!

3. Anonymous9:43 PM

Oh I know! I learned that tangent line spaghetti tactic from a workshop (or did they use toothpicks), but it's so effective and fun and different (and cheap). I used the spaghetti with my precalculus class, but come to think of it, we also did f'(x) graphs and tangents with spaghetti in calculus, too.

Thanks,

4. Anonymous8:39 PM

Thanks for sharing the spaghetti trick. I will be teaching Trig topics next month for the first time, and this will give me a tactile method to use.

5. Anonymous8:42 PM

You have the greatest ideas...where did you come up with the idea to start a "math cult"?
I need to try that. Sounds like a great way to interact with the students. Do they really say the phrase to you in the hall?

6. Anonymous8:57 PM

Well, they haven't said that to me in the halls yet, but we get a good giggle out of it in class when I make them repeat it "zombie-like". I also say we have a secret hand signal (a hold over from my algebra 2 days when we taught 3 dimensions). You hold out your thumb, index and middle fingers all 90 degrees from each other like an xyz-plane. ... Thanks for your nice comments.

7. You know, I have acquired more ideas reading your blogs tonight then I have in my 5 years of teaching. One of my goals this year is to include more auditory and kinesthetic applications in my lessons. You certainly have a lot of them for me to try! Thanks for sharing the spaghetti tricks and cult idea.

8. Anonymous11:32 AM

that was a good idea on how to get the students into the lesson. i never heard of that just this time by reading this blog. you make things easy for the students even if they don't like it. keep it up.

9. How long did this take you to do?

10. Me personally,I'm a fast learn, unfortunatly there are others who aren't. So i am glad to know there are people who care.I really want to thank you for you gift.

11. Anonymous4:44 AM

I teach a 90 minute block class, so probably after going over homework and discussing some other benchmarking details, the clock part probably took 5 minutes, and the colored paper part took 70-75 minutes (about).