Linear Programming

The afternoon before spring break began I was notified by my AP that my classroom – my Discrete Math class – was on the list of rooms to be visited during the 2-day Quality Review on April 10/11.  I was told that the brand new set of iPads I have (with no apps to speak of) were expected it be in use, that a lesson plan  – which needed to be in evidence (something which needs to be said to some teachers in my school – with ‘pivotal questions’ should be ready for review by the principal prior to the quality review.  So spring break has been a break from classes, mostly, but not from work.

In my school, Discrete Math is a course which (a) provides a needed math credit for seniors in need of one not enrolled in Pre-Cal or Calculus  or (b) acts as a placeholder for students who somehow got off-track and are waiting to try (or re-try) Algebra 2/Trig in the fall.   Linear Programming seems to me to be a topic for which this course is well-suited:  the students know how to graph lines and inequalities on the coordinate plane, and the problems are real-world based.   Moreover, the problem-solving nature of many of the activities makes them appropriate for groupwork and ‘accountable talk.’    Finally, thanks to some generous teachers who share their ideas freely, we will be using Legos to model problems, not once, but twice!  Fun! Math toys!  What could be better?

I have planned the use of the iPads, so far, with an activity in which using Desmos Graphing Calculator – only Safari and wi-fi required – we will explore systems of inequalities.  And with a little bit of help from our tech department, I am hoping load Sketchpad Explorer on the iPads and look at a pre-made file, which I have posted on my wiki, with a linear programming example.  Still to be determined – can I figure out how to use nearpod, doceri, or other tools in time for this dog-and-pony show?  Is it worth it?

I am excited about the Linear Programming activities, regardless, and am grateful to all the sharing in the mathtwittoblogoshpere (did I spell that right?).  Thus goes my first post.  Happy Easter!


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