Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Shoe Challenge

In my district, you are rewarded for using technology.  The more you use, the more you get.  When I asked my IT guy for a subscription to mathalicious.com, there was almost no hesitation.  I don't know about the teenage boys in your district, but the first thing they do in my district when they get their hands on a laptop is look at sneakers.  More specifically the flight club website.   I noticed that mathalicious has a few lessons that involve shoes...those teenage boys were hooked.  We did the Big Foot Conspiracy lesson and the debate was awesome.

Here's what the students think:  52% of my students thought that the price of shoes should be the same no matter what the size.  The other 48% thought that shoe prices should be based on weight.

The lesson that mathalicious created asks students to use the price and the weight of the shoe to determine the unit price.  Then use the unit price to change the price of other weighted shoes.  It was eye opening for some students.  The most interesting part was when students asked why the unit price increased for the heavier shoes.  Great conversations!!

I used one of the extended activities from mathalicious and slightly tweaked it.  I challenged the students to go to zappos and find any two pairs of shoes and discuss the price, the weight, and the unit price of both in an educreations video.  The reward?  Fifteen Oswald Dollars.

Here is a link to my class website with the results.