Jul 2, 2013

Problem of Practice

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My well-structured problem was solving a quadratic equation using the quadratic formula. How I teach this without technology is just giving examples and walking student through step-by-step. This is particularly difficult because some student catch on right way, and other students need to be walked through each step multiple times, over many days. I chose Wolfram Alpha as my technology tool because it has the ability to walk through the steps of the of the quadratic equation for any problem. It also gives multiple representations of the quadratic equation, so students can relate the answer to other forms of the equation and to the graphs.

My ill-structured problem was to find the cost of painting a living room. This is an ill-structured problem because not only do you need to know how big the room is, you have to include other costs like paint brushes and painters tape. Students has to figure out how many materials they are going to use and how much they cost and keep track of them in a spreadsheet. The technology I think would be appropriate would be Sketchup for modeling the house, and a Spreadsheet to keep track of the expenses.

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