I've been a pretty traditional teacher up until now, and the thought of giving my students open-ended tasks still scares me. But they LOVE it, and the work that comes back is not only creative and original, but also demonstrates a really high level of understanding.
Here is a short assignment my grade 10 math students did during our unit on linear equations: Real Life Slopes of Real Life Lines.
Basically, they had to go out into the school and...
- Find five objects that demonstrated slope
- Measure the slope of the objects by measuring the vertical displacement (rise) and horizontal displacement (run)
- Calculate the rate of change
- Document the objects by taking pictures on their devices
Some students had trouble finding examples of slopes, so they MADE slopes by leaning books up against a printer and tipping a table at an angle. I had never suggested to them that they could make their own - it's something they came up with independently!
I would love to do more of this type of activity with my students. Any suggestions? Have you done something similar (or, very different)? I'm always looking for new ideas!