I knew my students wouldn’t be able to stay focused today because of yesterday’s Super Bowl, and here’s why: I’m a die-hard Broncos fan. I’m talking I was a fan in utero that’s how die-hard I am. Because they lost yesterday, I knew a majority of class time would be spent listening to hecklers. So, I decided to take this activity from Yummymath.com about the changing cost of Super Bowl ads over the years and talk about it in my classes today. Because I have students with such varied abilities (and because I have a paid Yummymath membership!) I took the Word document and modified it for each of my classes.
To start off all classes, I had them watch a 5 minute-ish compilation of a selection of yesterday’s Super Bowl ads. I had my integrated math class graph the data on Yummymath’s worksheet, but they had a really hard time determining an appropriate scale for the y-axis. That took our conversation off on a tangent I hadn’t intended, so I did a mini-lesson on finding a good scale. Because we are on shortened schedule today, that’s as far as we got, but just that little bit was a powerful formative assessment tool for me–we evidently need to spend some more time with scaling graphs.
With my pre-algebra and algebra readiness students, I had them talk about the table of values on the left side of the worksheet and come up with a list of Noticings and Wonderings a la mathforum.org. This was a good way to get students into the data no matter their ability level with data. Once they shared out with the class, we discussed the rate of cost per 30 second spot in 1967 (Super Bowl I) versus 2014 (Super Bowl XLVIII). This naturally led into a discussion of how much 1 second of that commercial spot cost for both Super Bowls. It was a great way to tie in equivalent fractions, rates, and unit rates (which all of my pre-algebra and algebra readiness classes have been working on in some form or another). My intent was to have students get to the point of analyzing the graph of the data, but most classes didn’t get to that point today. Maybe tomorrow!