Friday Five for June 3

The Friday Five is thinking big this week, and maybe providing you a little summer curriculum planning assistance as a result. Five activities this week, each connected to other activities. Think of each as a prix fixe menu where the prix is free.

Sketchy Parabolas

Here’s an activity for capturing student thinking, and using it to create conversations about formal properties and vocabulary. This one pairs nicely with Polygraph: Parabolas. If you do Polygraph first, students will notice the important features of parabolas. Then you can hit them with the vocabulary and use that vocabulary here in Sketchy Parabolas.

WNBA Scoring Averages

How many points will Breanna Stewart score in her rookie year in the WNBA? Can the number of points she scored in her senior year in college help us to make a good prediction? The data is a bit messier than in LEGO Prices, but the task is quite similar. Together, LEGO Prices and WNBA Scoring Averages make a nice one-two punch for classroom linear modeling.

Sum and Differences on the Number Line

Here’s a short activity that challenges students to think qualitatively about the relationships between the sums and differences of two numbers. Maybe make a week of it and open class each day with a number line activity. Start with Number Line, Number Sense to challenge students’ assumptions about relative sizes of large numbers. Twist the number line into a spiral with Putting Points on the Line. Quickly introduce fraction with the short, sweet Where’s 2/3? Make fractions a bit more challenging with Fractions on a Number Line. Then finish the week with Sum and Differences on the Number Line. Most of these are short conversation starters that can launch you into that day’s work.


Cathy Yenca offers up a quick tutorial in domain restrictions, inequality shading, and coloring before turning students loose on drawing a face (which need not be a self portrait, although it may be, if your chin is sufficiently parabolic). The use of domain and range restrictions would be a strong, creative follow up to Marbleslides.

Turning Points

Bryn Humberstone built this calculus activity to draw students’ attention to the importance of the places where a function’s derivative is equal to zero. It goes very nicely with Increasing and Decreasing Functions with Derivatives.

There you have it, a Friday Five with all the fixings. See you next week; the Friday Five assumes you’ll be bringing the dessert.