Investigations: Cont"rolling" Variables

By Dixon, Juli K.; Adams, Thomasenia Lott et al. | Teaching Children Mathematics, November 2001 | Go to article overview

Investigations: Cont"rolling" Variables


Dixon, Juli K., Adams, Thomasenia Lott, Hynes, Mary Ellen, Teaching Children Mathematics


The purpose of the "Investigations" department is to provide mathematically rich and inviting contexts in which children and their teachers solve problems, communicate, and reason. Investigations encourage students to make connections among mathematical ideas, as well as connections with contexts outside of mathematics. As students collaborate, experiment, explore, collect data, research various sources, and engage in activities during the investigation, they will have opportunities to represent their mathematical ideas in multiple ways.

Investigations are comprised of several tasks that collectively promote deep examination of a core topic and question. They are open-ended and often require more than one period to complete. The following investigation has been enriched by teaching suggestions that encourage reflection. These tasks are expected to mark a point of departure for students and teachers to embark on thoughtful, coherent mathematical explorations.

On the Move (Levels 1-3)

Objectives

Students will--

* measure distances using nonstandard units (e.g., string or long wooden rods) or standard units (e.g., customary or metric),

* compare distances,

* distinguish between what remains constant during the investigation (time and traveler) and what changes (the types of movements or number of repetitions during travel), and

* identify relationships between the types of movement and distances.

Materials

Each group will need--

* a timer or stopwatch that can measure seconds,

* a measuring stick or tape for standard units,

* string or long wooden rods for nonstandard units, and

* a copy of the reproducible page "On the Move."

Preparing for the investigation

In such games as red light--green light, Simon says, and red rover, children are challenged to cover given distances with different purposes and in different ways. This investigation focuses on the effects of changing the ways that students "walk" a distance and the number of "steps" that they take in a given amount of time. Students will measure the distance that they can travel using various types of movements in fifteen seconds. Remind students of games that involve walking, hopping, or other ways that children cover distances without the help of others. You might start the discussion by asking about games with which your students are familiar, such as Simon says.

Structuring the investigation

1. Ask students, "Which type of movement would you choose in playing red light--green light if you were trying to get through the light?" Ask students whether their answers would be different if they were playing the part of the traffic light and trying to keep people from getting through.

2. Have students brainstorm to identify how they move in different games, as well as other ways that they can move from one place to another. Be sure to include suggestions for children who are physically challenged, including children who are in wheelchairs or who use crutches or braces. List these suggestions for students to see.

3. Have students make conjectures about when and why different types of movement are better in each of the games. Guide students toward investigating and comparing different ways of moving during a set period of time.

4. Students should consider two questions:

* How far can a student travel in a given amount of time?

* How many paces or repetitions of movement can a student make in a given amount of time?

Students might suggest races using different types of movement to determine who can get to a destination first. At this point, you might choose students of various heights and ask them to take "giant" steps to ascertain who can get from point A to point B in the fewest number of steps. Lead your students to see that different people can use the same type of movement and end up with different results. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Investigations: Cont"rolling" Variables
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.