File Cabinet

via Andrew Stadel
Not this yearDan Meyer’s 3 Act lesson format is here to breathe life into applied math. I was staring at this file cabinet at the back of my room, saw a stack of Post-Its on my desk and thought, how many Post-Its would it take to cover this rectangular son-of-a-prism… and so it began.

Forget wrapping paper, Post-its FTW!

I filmed File Cabinet – Act 1 (watch video here before Act 3) last Monday, posted it to 101qs.com and every day I chipped away at sticking Post-Its for about 40-60 minutes after school. Yes, it was a lot of work, but totally worth it! This math lesson/project instantly became a huge conversation piece in my classroom. Students came in completely intrigued by what was going on in the back of my room. They stared at it. They did weird finger, arm, and eyeball measurements. They walked around it numerous times before I finally said, “Make an estimate. It’s free! Write it on the board.” My whiteboard at the front of the class had about 30 kids’ names on it with their estimates. It was so invigorating to hear them discuss or argue their estimate. One student made an estimate within 1 Post-It of the actual result.

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