VIDEO: Middle School Teachers at Orchard Are Making Math Fun

Eighth-grade math teacher Ryan Mossakowski decided to take his math class outside for an experiential lesson around the slope formula. This lesson is a perfect example of how hands-on learning can continue even through CDC guidelines. Also, taking kids outside to enhance the learning journey is nothing new for teachers at The Orchard School, so as Mr. Mossakowski says, “It was another great day in math!”

Math Behind the Activity from Mr. Mossakowski:
“I would yell out the equation y=6x and students had to plot themselves on the coordinate plane given the rate of change. The rate of change in this equation is a change of 6 y or 6 vertical units over 1 x or 1 horizontal unit. For this example one student had to stand at 0,0 the next student stood at 1,6 then 2,12 then 3, 18, and so on. 
Students were plugging in values into the equation without even realizing it because if I plug 2 in for x into the y=6x equation the outcome is 12, which is an ordered pair on the coordinate plane. In more difficult examples, such as 800/2000, students had to simplify the ratio to 2/5 and then move accordingly. The students were also getting an understanding of rise over run which is another way to find the slope of the graph. 
Moving forward this activity will help students develop a better understanding of non-proportional equations, such as slope-intercept form (y=mx+b).”

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