RWLO describes a lesson plan that instructs students to solve an
instantaneous rate of change word problem using Calculus I skills,
calculator skills, online skills, as well as critical thinking skills. Students will determine in which
month the temperature increases most rapidly, decreases most rapidly, and
changes most slowly for a major city of their choice in the U.S.A.
Students will begin by breaking into small
groups. Each group will predict
the months where the temperature changes most rapidly or most slowly, even
though they have no mathematical evidence or knowledge of the actual
months. They will provide some
sort of rationale for their predictions.
To find the actual real months, students begin
by gathering data from the internet. They will use a graphing
calculator to obtain a regression function and its graph to observe the
curve of best fit to the data set.
Students will use their differentiation skills to find the
derivative of the regression function.
After graphing the derivative function, students use their knowledge
of differentiation and their critical thinking skills to analyze the graph
in order to obtain the real results.
Alas, the truth is known!
Finally, students will compare their predictions
made in the beginning with the actual real results found through
mathematics. The lesson is
completed by giving a reward to those students who predicted all the months