math 2013
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The class began with an introduction to the subject of algorithms. This was primarily taught through the organic development of their own algorithms as a method to complete a number of activities. Most of the activities were from interactivate, though there were two that required either physical or verbal interaction. The first activity was a "game" where the kids sorted themselves into a line ordered by day/month of birth, without any talking or writing allowed. They were then directed as a class to interactivate, where they worked through the "Venn Diagram Shape Sorter" and the "Triple Venn Diagram Shape Sorter". (They worked in pairs and triples all day, as Java wasn't working on all of the computers). Following the activity was a teacher-led discussion about the methods they used to complete the activity, and the efficiency and effectiveness thereof. The idea of an "algorithm" being a set of rules to follow in carrying out an activity was introduced. The kids then moved outside, where they were led through the verbal activity of figuring out what a bunch of words had in common (they all contain double letters). This activity led into a thirty-minute pretzel and juice filled break. After the break, the kids explored the Interactivate applet "Tessellate!" and later worked on "Estimator". After using "Estimator", another group discussion commenced about the algorithms they were using to answer the questions.