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Thanksgiving Taters

by Dan Meyer


Act One

  • Dan Meyer

    Dan Meyer

    January 08, 2014

    How long will the bag take?

  • 1.

    What's an answer you know is too high?

  • 2.

    What's an answer you know is too low?

Act Two

  • 3.

    What information would be useful to know here?

  • ImageThe total number of taters.
  • Teacher note
    Students may want to know how long it took him to peel one potato. They should be encouraged to take out a timer and time him as you replay the video.

Act Three

  • VideoThe answer.
  • Teacher note
    Okay, admittedly, the content here (rates) is super basic. The practice here (modeling) isn't. If students make straightforward rates calculation, their answer will be wrong. They need to ask themselves, "Why might my model be too simple? Is it underpredicting or overpredicting?"

    It turns out that the first potato he peeled was rather small relative to the rest. After you play the answer find out who had the closest initial guess (one clap) and who had the closest mathematical answer. Ask that second person what kind of model she used that got her so close to the exact answer. How did she adjust her mathematical answer to bring it in line with reality?"

    That's modeling.


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