In the previous blog Use Angry Birds to Teach Math (see below) we shared a plan to introduce students to parabolas. Students can follow Bruner’s CRA teaching method from tossed-beanbags to the parabolas in Angry Birds to graphing-quadratic-equations in Elevated Math. The popularity of our blog post has inspired us to include an excerpt from the Elevated Math lesson. This lesson is part representative and part abstract. We have removed from the video the “autopauses” found in the iPad lessons so the video will flow better. This lesson, A14.1, continues for another 18 minutes and includes abstract activities for the students. Also, two subsequent lessons A14.2 and A14.3 further explore quadratic equations.
As David Wees shares in his blog entitled, Make Mathematics Fun, “too many students spend a lot of time not enjoying themselves when learning mathematics.” He challenges mathematics educators to make math accessible and more easily learned for their students. Being up for the challenge, here is a suggestion.
Angry Birds is the largest mobile app success the world has seen so far. It is an interactive, animated projectile launcher that creates parabolic motion. The parabola is traced by the flight of the projectile (the bird). In the app players use a slingshot to launch birds at pigs stationed on or within various structures. The goal is to destroy all the pigs on the screen. The game is such a huge hit that The MIT Entrepreneurship Review predicts that the game will be bigger than either Mickey Mouse or Mario. If kids are that into it, let’s change it from a mindless game to a vehicle for learning math.