Monday, 7 October 2013

Calculus Activity: Determining Instantaneous Speed of Usain Bolt as He Crossed the Finish Line

In order to bring Calculus to life for my students, our AP Calculus team are implementing different labs to get students to apply the actual concepts they learned to  real life situations. One such example was to find the instantaneous speed of Usain Bolt as he crossed the finish line when he beat the world record in Berlin (2009). We had provided students with the video of the race and they were allowed to use other online resources. Below is the instruction of the assignment, quick footage of students working on the lab and a sample of one group’s work that was submitted. 

Assignment Instructions
1. Work in pairs. 
2. Download the video file.
3. Goal is to look at the video in iMovie, using frames, to calculate the instantaneous speed of Usain Bolt as he crosses the finish line by using more and more refined, successive values of delta distance and delta time, with minimum 5 iterations. (eg. 100m, 10m, 5m, 2m, smallest possible)
4. Write up like a lab report, answering following questions.
    a) Objective
    b) Plan of action
    c) Process and Calculations
    d) Conclusion and validity of result
Include screenshot of pictures to help explain your process.

Footage of Students Working on the Assignment

Sample of Student Work

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Assessment Tools for Student Created iBooks

I believe iBooks are a great way for students to find creative ways to share their learning, as I have talked about in my blog post My Relationship with iBooks Author. Some teachers would find it hard to implement digital tools for learning as it’s hard to find ways to assess them. Here are some rubrics I have used for assessing students’ iBooks for different tasks.

1. Precalculus Conic Sections    This was my first attempt to use iBook as a student project. This was a once off major project. Below is the instruction sheet given to students and the assessment rubric. We have also taken a class time for peer assessment which I modified the below rubric for simple student use.

2. AP Calculus AB Limits Activity    In our AP Calculus classes we had decided to utilise the iBook throughout the year to log the learning that happens with the activities we do in class. Following was done for researching different aspects of the use of limits. Instructions sheets and assessment rubric is given below.   

3. Calculus Year Long Project    In my Calculus class, I use the iBook for the year long project for Student-Led Project Based Learning (details in my Piloting Student-Led Project Based Learning post). Below is the rubric that I use to assess each of the iBook chapters student submit.

Feel free to download and use any of these documents as you see fit.