VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 2 POSTED ON: 9/18/2012
Dr. Olivo’s Hairy Eyeball Theory A Middle School Lesson Submitted by Kathy Hill email@example.com The Mathematics: Scatter plots are used to analyze data and search for relationships. The task: Students will time each other to see how long they can hold their eyes open. They will also measure the length of each other’s hair. The goal is for students to graph the data to prove or disprove Dr. Olivo’s hairy eyeball theory. (Adapted from: A Graphing Matter: Activities for Easing into Algebra by Mark Illingworth) Materials: Metric rulers and stop watches. The Lesson: Before the task (introducing) 1. Say: “Have you ever wondered what the expression “hairy eyeball” means? You might think that it has something to do with the look your teacher gives you when you are doing something that you shouldn’t but what do hair and eyes have to do with one another? Dr. Maria Olivo (not a real person) believes that long hair makes people blink. Apparently the added weight puts pressure on the nerve endings around the base of the follicles, stimulating overall increased neural activity, which results in more frequent blinking. Do you believe this?” 2. Have students form groups of three with the following roles: blink observer, blink timer, and blinkless test subject. Rotate positions until each person has been tested. 3. Have students measure the length of their partner’s longest hair in centimeters. 4. Place data points on the posted classroom graph. During the task Questions to ask: Does this graph prove or disprove the theory? What would the graph look like that proves her theory? Is there a relationship between time without blinking and the length of a person’s hair? Brainstorm variables that might really affect how long a person can hold his eyes open. After the task (summarizing) 1. Discuss class graph. Sample: time without blinking (sec) 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 length of longest hair (cm) 2. List variables that might really affect how long a person can hold his eyes open. Have students pick a variable and pretend that they conducted the experiment. Draw what they think the graph would look like. Samples: time with out blinking 120 time with out blinking 120 100 100 80 80 (sec) (sec) 60 60 40 40 20 20 0 0 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 hours aw ake cups of coffee Have students share and explain their graphs. Optional: Discuss vocabulary – Independent variable – value that is changed on purpose (length of longest hair) Dependent variable – value that is affected by the change (time without blinking) Correlation – when there does appear to be a relationship between the variables but it does not always imply a cause-effect relationship Weak – loose pattern of the data points Strong – tight pattern of the data points suggesting either a line or curve Positive – slope moving up; both variables increasing Negative – slope moving down; one variable increasing and the other variable decreasing Assessment: Make up a fake theory. Design and conduct an experiment. Graph the data. Explain how the graph proves or disproves the theory.
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