This coming Wednesday is my first formal assessment. Sure, I’m a little nervous when it comes to being watched, filmed, evaluated, and judged on my ability to teach, but on the other hand, I’m stoked to show my supervisor the problem I’m going to be presenting. We’re beginning trigonometry this week – introducing the students to radians, circles, and exploring sine and cosine graphs. The essential question for my lesson is “how can we model cyclical movements.” In order to help the students explore this, I plan on introducing the ferris wheel problem (along with a ferris wheel model). The goal of the problem is to graph the hight of a ferris wheel from the ground as it rotates.
Here’s the back story (for non-link clickers):
The Great Wheel of China located in Beijing is the largest ferris wheel in the world. It stands at 682 feet high. When my sister was traveling in China, she bragged to me about getting to ride the ferris wheel. After thinking about it for a while, I realized that it’s really not that unique, as you are only 682 feet off the ground for a few moments.
Imagine you are sitting on a ferris wheel at the peak (point A). Your task is to graph your height relative to the ground as you rotate around the wheel.
The students will be working in pairs. I don’t expect all of them to answer all the questions on the back in the time allotted, but I do hope that all of them get through graphing the ferris wheel’s movement by the end of the period. I would love any feedback on the problem before I introduce it on Wednesday. I am still a little bit hesitant about the best way to debrief the problem at the end of the period.