This site contains a worksheet and instructions on how to use it. The worksheet asks students to use the slope of the secant line to investigate growth rates of boys and girls. It also provides sample solutions for the activity worksheet.
Type of Material:
Development Tool (Assignment)
This site can be used in class, at home, or for individual learning.
It works on all browsers including smart phones and does not require any plug-ins, Java, HTML, and Flash. It also includes a pdf viewer.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
To learn about the slope of the secant line using real-life applications.
Target Student Population:
Students in Intermediate algebra or Pre-Calculus
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Knowledge of the formula for the slope of a line.
The site contains very specific instructions to teachers on how to implement the worksheet. It uses a relevant topic, heights and weights of boys and girls, as a motivator to discover how the slope of a line can be used in the real world. The worksheet encourages open ended solutions by allowing students to use various nearby points to approximate the tangent line.
Since the site contains just two pdf documents, there is no interactivity. An interactive chart where students could move points along the curve would add to the discovery process. Also, there is no reference to any formulas such as the rise/run formula for slope.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The worksheet contains well written questions that will encourage students to investigate the slope of a line in a way that they may not have encountered before. It asks both factual and open ended questions that will prepare student for concepts such as the first derivative and second derivative without the terminology and rigor of calculus.
The worksheet contains a very small amount of space to write answers to the open ended questions. Since this document is written in pdf, unless an instructor has a pdf writer, additional space cannot be added.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The instructions to the teacher are clearly written and students should have no trouble reading the instructions. Since these are just pdf documents, there will be no technical barriers to use the worksheet.
To be more engaging, interactivity, color, and other design enhancements are recommended. We recommend that the instructional plan be re-written as points or steps instead of multiple paragraphs to make it easier for the teacher and students to read the instructions.
Other Issues and Comments:
The “Related Resources” section does not have any links to other resources that can help students read and learn more about growth rate. We recommend providing additional real life examples about growth rate so students can practice more.
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