Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Today in my Curriculum & Instruction class, the presenter brought in examples of student work from successful activities she's seen in classrooms. One task asked students to create real-world context problems where they would use trigonometry.

Most were pretty predictable "how tall/long is this building/shadow/distance from corner to corner" story problems, but I this one blew my mind.

I love that there is a student who, although living in East Palo Alto, California, still retains such loyalty to the All Blacks as to dream up a math problem about Tana Umanga and Jonah Lomu. The teacher gave this assignment and Umanga and Lomu created the first right triangle that came to this kid's mind.

My only question is about the decision to use the term "rugby ball" instead of just "ball." Did this kid know that the added context was necessary for his/her classmates (and probably teacher) to understand what the problem was actually about? My feeling is yes, because s/he also wrote "touchdown" rather than "try" in explaining how Lomu would score--clearly this kid has considered how to make the problem accessible to people from other cultural backgrounds.

I must meet this student.


Roni said...

Did you shout out in class, "Go, THE All Blacks!"?

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Definitely cool (and sensitive) kid!

Teana said...

okay, this is one awesome kid!