A blog about teaching and learning in a maths classroom.

Term 3 2010 SDD

Monday, 19 July 2010 | 0 Comments

Each year for the Term 3 SDD (Staff Development Day), the four schools (three 7-10 and one 11-12) in the collegiate I work in get together for a combined program.

DER Laptops in Maths title screen

This year, I presented a workshop on DER Laptops in Maths. The workshop covered three activities that I’ve used in class with the DER laptops that our Year 9 and 10s have. The three activities were:

Investigating right-angled triangles

This activity was from an online course called GeoGebra: A Dynamic Approach to Yr 9-10 Trigonometry by Richard Andrew. The course is run by Teacher Training Australia. I presented this activity with his permission.

Using GeoGebra, two right-angled triangles are investigated and the side lengths are recorded in a spreadsheet from which you discover the three trigonometric ratios.

Your Heartbeat

Your Heartbeat Excel Worksheet

For activity two, I took an old outdoors activity, measuring your heart-rate and did away with the paper worksheet. Creating a self-checking Excel worksheet with two versions.

As an introductory activity for Rates take the class outdoors to measure their heart rate.

  • Start indoors, counting number of beats in a minute whilst sitting at their desks. Record: at rest
  • Head outdoors to a pergola. When we get to the pergola, we again count the number of beats in a minute. Record: after a short walk
  • Finally, the students do something active — run across the oval, star jumps — then again count the number of beats in a minute. Record: after 2 minutes of activity

These three numbers should be recorded somewhere. Back in the classroom, some calculations can be done to find beats per week, month and year. You can also find, roughly, the amount of blood pumped by the heart in a year.

This introductory activity shows that rates compare different quantities (in this case heart beats and time). By doing the calculations for per week, month and year; students use rates.

In the first Excel worksheet, “1_cloze” – students enter the data they counted, and a couple of numbers used for calculating the beats per hour, week, year. The worksheet completes the calculations.
In the second Excel worksheet, “2_self” – students enter the data, but also need to enter the formulae required to complete the calculations. The worksheet is self-checking.

The Excel file is available below.

World’s Fastest Clapper

For the third activity, I used the World’s Fastest Clapper investigation previously presented on this blog.

Your Heartbeat XLS, 70 KB
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License (?).

Posted in • Lesson IdeaRatesTrigonometryMediaAudioVideoSoftwareAudacityExcelGeoGebraTechnologyDigital Education RevolutionLaptops 4 Learning | Short URL:


There are no comments for this entry yet.

Post a comment

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

New  Subscribe to the …

email newsletter

Get updates…

Twitter   Facebook   Pinterest


Simon Job — eleventh year of teaching maths in a public high school in Western Sydney, Australia.
MathsClass is about teaching and learning in a maths classroom. more→


by date

by category


updates via @mathslinks

Recently read/found.

View All | RSS