In creating lesson plans, I do my best to engage the students in the overall learning process and allow them to be creative. In this particular lesson plan on Solving Linear Systems of Equations, I wanted the students to embrace themselves as advertisers and create their own cell phone company since it is important that schools and classrooms be learner centered (Bransford et al., 2000, p. 23). In the past I have not had a lot of access to technology, so students have always created their plans on paper. But I now have three tablets at my disposal, as well as access to a laptop cart containing over 20 computers allowing me to really enhance the lesson.
Access: I chose Glogster for this activity because I had newly tried this show my knowledge of a reading required in my last graduate class and though it would be a wonderful tool for an advertisement. Since digital media provides access to a rich source of information and play (Thomas & Brown, 2011, p. 37-38). Also, Glogster was free and only needed an email account which is what our school required of each student so that they could have access to such tools. Much of what makes play powerful as a tool for learning is our ability to engage in experimentation ((Thomas & Brown, 2011, p. 97). I am not sure if my students would have already used this tool before in another class. Our school also requires that students take a test on digital citizenship and how to be appropriate on the internet before they can have access to our school laptops.
Title: Cell Phone Lesson Plan
Grade: Algebra 1 (8-12th)
Standards: L1.2.4 Organize and summarize a data set in a table, plot, chart, or spreadsheet; ﬁnd patterns in a display of data; understand and critique data displays in the media. A2.4.2 Graph lines (including those of the form x = h and y = k) given appropriate information. A2.1.7 Identify and interpret the key features of a function from its graph or its formula(e), (e.g., slope, intercept(s), asymptote(s), maximum and minimum value(s), symmetry, and average rate of change over an interval).
Due to building on the previous concept of linear equations, I would first have my students review linear equations by completing a card sort. To introduce this unit following the sort, I would propose the following assignment to my students:
Creating: The mission- Create an advertisement for a new cell phone company using Glog EDU containing the following information:
- Title for your cell phone company
- Picture of cell phone(s)
- Monthly charge (this must be between $0 and $50 a month)
- Charge per minute (this must be between $0 and $50 also but please do not make them the same)
- Anything else to make the poster/flyer presentable
After you have completed your poster/flyer:
- Create a table, equation and graph using your data. Remember to include labels where needed on your graph. You can do this by hand or try the free graphing calculator online.
- Graph your data on the teacher’s computer using the free graphing calculator website.
Analyzing: Once everyone has graphed their data, please complete the following questions:
- Look at the class data and tell me which cell phone plan would you choose and why?
- Look at the class data and tell me which cell phone plan would you NOT choose and why?
- Would you change your answer if you were told that you use 50 minutes each month? Why?
- Describe what each point of intersection represents in terms of the problem.
Reflecting: This would be the introduction to the unit. Throughout the unit I would reflect upon our cell phone plans to make the unit relevant. In addition, I would ask that students keep record of how many minutes they used on a weekly basis. This would allow us to come back and create classroom discussions on what would be the most affordable plan so the students could see how data changes. Students could then see and understand the real life applications to linear equations.
Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L., and Cocking, R.R. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school: expanded ed. (pp. 3-79). Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, Ky: CreateSpace.