Sad, but glad

Two day ago, I used the cricket chirp/temperature relationship and had students come up with a linear equation to describe the relationship as an introductory activity to mathematical modeling.  The sad thing:  Some students still had to be reminded how to find a linear equation from two points–in Precalculus!   Students were thrown by the context of the problem.  Too often, they only see:  “Here are two points (3,5) and (-2,8).  Write an equation of the line containing those points.”  But two points in real life context just messes up their neat math world and they don’t know what to do.  In fact, one student told me that he never before realized that you could actually use  the equation of a line to figure out something in real life.  How sad that he is first encountering this in Precalculus!  But how glad I am that I get to help open their eyes to a little bit of what math is all about!

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