Lego Toys and Optimization


So playing off Fawn’s Funky Furniture…students decided today they would make Lego Airplanes and Lego Unicorns. 

Here’s part of slide from our discussion.


Dummy me, erased other equations and inequalities they had shared when I asked for a function to describe our data. 
In this situation, we were ONLY looking at the number of large Legos used and how our total airplanes constructed would affect our total unicorns.

Good ideas came out in our discussion and almost every single student was on task.  They noticed several things in the data.  One student wanted to use our “vertex form” strategy (thanks mr. Waddell!)  to write the equation.  But they were not sure how to handle the repeated numbers 8 and 6 to find their rate of change.

Here are some of the suggestions from them…


What was great about this lesson, I didn’t correct them.  Their classmates were confirming or disagreeing.  This is huge because many of the students in this particular class entered the year not confident in their math or not liking it at all.  They can reason very well and have so much ability when I let them think on their own. 

Here was their data graphed…and one of the equations for the boundary line.


We were unable to finish the lesson due to a College & Career Counselor visit, but tomorrow, I look forward to seeing their work with considering only the small Lego pieces.  One student even brought up…but you can’t make… and I replied, “exactly…that is where we are heading, you are just a step ahead!”  What will they notice when we graph all data together?!?!?

My hope is to give them a chance to really understand the equations, make those connections for themselves without me saying Look at this! Or do it this way. They are such amazing, hard working kiddos…they will find success in life…


One response »

  1. Reblogged this on the radical rational… and commented:

    Getting ready to do some systems of inequalities and so glad I posted ideas from this day a few years ago!

    What do students do when give them legos? They create. This particular day, someone made unicorns and airplanes…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s