Blogging is all about putting it out there: My initial thoughts on a Project idea for COETAIL course 5 final Project

This is my first official “informal” blog.  Jeff said to just put my brainstorming ideas out there and see if anyone has anything to add or suggestion.  So, if so, please comment below:

The unit I’m looking to Flip is:  Exponential & Logarithmic Functions

The hope:

That the whole unit will be centered around 1-2 essential question that takes 2-3 weeks for the kids to discover.  Not sure what those questions are, but hope to maybe have students produce project that answers the question).

The plan:

Throughout the unit, I’ll provide them with several scenarios that involve these types of functions:  ie. Interest rates, earthquakes, decibel level, radioactive decay, population growth.  Then, the Final project/Assessment—open-ended problem where they create a real world scenario (like the credit hole) problem and have to include all of the Big ideas/concepts from the unit.

Final Project Presentations will be done using some sort of media like Camtasia or CamStudio.  They need to include some sort of video media (whether it be interviews or video taping their scenario in action and then analyze it.

They will have a set of outcomes to be met by the end of the Unit (like a checklist–filling the bucket)

Set of Outcomes (Objectives–what you need to know by the end of this Unit):

  1. Exponential growth and decay functions
    1. Graphing,
    1.  main characteristics–transformations–create a scenario where your current function is transformed and explain how the transformation relates to the scenario),
    1. Solving equations these types of equations
  1. Logarithmic functions (relating ideas of inverse functions)
    1. Graphing, main characteristics, and solving these types of equations
  1. Natural Base e and it’s uses
  1. Curve fitting with Exponential and Logarithmic functions
    1. (they’ll have to do this to find the function to fit their scenario)

 I’m thinking of Objective-Based grading

I am envisioning a series of mini-assessments or check points along the way to assess  understanding of the outcomes–I envision this being like a “grading bucket” where students start with an empty “bucket”–aka objective checklist and they are working to “fill” their bucket by the end of the unit–aka meet each objective by showing me “what they know” according to a 1-4 scale rubric with feedback, with opportunities to improve their grade as they go along.  So, in the end, how full their bucket gets is up to them.

 The Objective-based “checkpoint” Assessments

I’m thinking these will be a mixture of procedural problems and/or 1-2 multi-step word problem that hits the recent 2-3 concepts–(These will be the quizzes for this unit)—My thinking is that this will look similar to what Brian Bennett does: Objective-Based grading–student-directed and involving varied practice & assessments and are skills based.  Students check in with me each week and look to test 2-3 of the concepts, or maybe just 1-2 concepts per week.

 The FLIP part:

Ideally, I would like to do 10 minute podcasts/screencasts that cover the teaching of the procedural concepts and then we’ll work in class on the application piece.  This is where I would like to bring in Dan Meyer’s ideas of “undoing the 4 layers” that traditional math problems structure their application problems around: visual, math structure (diagrams on top of images), steps and hooks.

Dan Meyer says once you undo the layers you:

  1. Using multimedia to encourage student intuition (get the “hook” out in the problem)
    1. Capture the perplexity
  1. Ask the shortest question possible
  1. Let students DO (they share & resolve)
  1. The teacher purposefully is less helpful (have them formulate the problem)–make the formulation the 90% and the solution 10%

 How to structure the activities:

I’m thinking of using TIM (The Technology Integration Matrix) to help structure the learning environment and level of technology:

“The TIM incorporates five interdependent characteristics of meaningful learning environments: active, constructive, goal directed (i.e., reflective), authentic, and collaborative (Jonassen, Howland, Moore, & Marra, 2003). The TIM associates five levels of technology integration (i.e., entry, adoption, adaptation, infusion, and transformation) with each of the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments. ”

There are a few issues:

1. I am NOT anywhere close to having knowledge around: graphic design, filmmaking, motion graphics, and infographics.  This is where the student knowledge may become crucial :).

2. How am I going to quantify it is the big question?   We have to have common assessments, so what does that look like for this unit?

I think the first place to start is to formulate the Rubric.

I’m putting this informal outline out these to see if anyone has any ideas/suggestions on resources etc. that you could send my way to help me start to structure this.  Anything would be greatly appreciated.

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