Amanda Coursey / Gifted Education  / Engaging Gifted Students In Mathematics

Engaging Gifted Students In Mathematics

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics publishes some excellent, engaging activities for students.  One mathematical model teachers from fourth grade through high school used for data collection and analysis is the linear model.  Barbie Bungee is an activity students buy CBD products use to see data collection in action.  Students will use rubber bands tied around a Barbie’s ankles to collect data about her buycbdproducts distance.

This activity is designed for Algebra 1 students but can be done with younger, gifted students to introduce and extend their understanding of the graphing points in the coordinate plane, and for students that need help with this subject, the use of resources, like an igcse additional maths tuition could be helpful with this.

First, teachers of younger students might want to show a video of a person bungee jumping so that students understand what they are modeling.

Teachers of gifted students should review this lesson template before using it with their students in order to make needed for the student’s grade level.  For example, students in fourth grade would be able to complete questions 1-4.  These questions basically ask students to complete a table recording the data from Barbie’s adventure, complete a scatterplot of the data, sketch a line of best fit (provide gifted kids with the understanding that this should be a straight line through the data not necessarily connecting all the dots), and then describing the trend they see (as the number of rubber bands increases, so does barbie’s jump distance also increases).

Question six should be modified for fourth grade students.  The question asks students to find the slope of the line, a term fourth graders have never heard.  For example, a question about rate of change for a fourth grader could be written as “About how much did the Jump Distance change each time you added two rubber bands?  _____  cm/2 bands About how much would the Jump Distance change if you only added one rubber band?_____ cm/band  This is the Rate of Change between Jump Distance and Number of Bands.  The rate of change describes the slope of the line of best fit you sketched.”

The question could further be extended for gifted students by teaching students to find the actual difference in all the y values and then to find the average of the differences to fill out the first blank.  This should only be done after students have already given their estimate so that they can truly see the average as a measure of central tendency.

Question eight could be modified to ask gifted students to make a prediction for the Jump Distance if 14 bands were used.  After making the prediction, students could conduct the trial to see if their prediction was correct.

Barbie Bungee is designed for students in an Algebra 1 classroom, but could be modified for gifted students in younger grades.