Monday, November 2, 2009

Media Mondays: LOL Graphs

song chart memes
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LOLcats, dogs, celebs, etc. You name it, there is an LOL for it. My personal favorite is still FAIL Blog, which never fails to entertain. Or at least remind me that I am not so dumb after all. Which is a huge achievement in this profession, since I can feel like the biggest loser on any given teaching day. Courtesy of an unpredictable job.

But GraphJam, another arm of the LOL empire, is quickly rising to the top of my favorite web time-wasters. There are some true ringers in there, as well as a few where the graphs are used incorrectly and the occasional ones where I frankly just don't get.

song chart memes
see more Funny Graphs

It's a fun, sometimes poignant, sometimes riotous, sometimes plain rude way of laying out certain facts about certain things. Graphic organizers, to me (probably because I'm mainly a visual learner), are one of the top five teaching strategies ever.

song chart memes
see more Funny Graphs

I find this an even better resource not only because I just finished a horrific unit on reading and creating graphs in the new McGraw-Hill math curriculum a few weeks ago. Horrific as in the students had no idea what was going on - and honestly, they really don't need to. At the fifth grade level, knowing the finer differences between a line graph and a line plot are just not necessary.

song chart memes
see more Funny Graphs


Janet said...

i think i use restaurant bills a lot. helps with percent increase, percent decrease, and percent of word problems. (Think: add tip, add tax, coupon discounts)

i think i use pizzas a lot too. they help with circle problems, especially arc length and area of a sector. (how much crust do i get on my slice of pizza? how many bites do i get out of my slice of pizza?)

i also tend to think in terms of painting for volume vs surface area problems. volume = fill the container with paint. surface area = amount of paint i need to paint the surface. (fun with highlighters to "paint" the surface).

hmm...there's also the chemistry mixture word problems. (start with 20% acid solution. take 200g of it. get pure water. how many g of pure water should we add to our 200g of acid solution to make it 10% acidic instead of 20% acidic.)

ooo, more percent increase/decrease problems: you are a store owner. you buy from the wholesaler such and such quantity of stuff. you want this much profit. however, you want your customers to think they get this random percent discount at the counter when they pay. how much should you set the sale tag to?

.... can you tell that the last graph didn't quite jive with me?

bun2bon said...

hahaha. yes. to me, it just goes to show how some curriculum can be very pat and dry.

or how some teachers might have no idea how to adapt the pat and dry curriculum.

or how the structure of school doesn't really allow the teacher to adapt the pat and dry curriculum to anyone's satisfaction.