Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ms. Pac-Man Transformations


I have been trying to talk less and let kids figure out more on their own this year and in searching for a way to introduce transformations found this AMAZING lesson from Robert Kaplinsky. You guys, I didn't even have to teach it! My kids caught on so quickly they were describing multiple transformations like it was nothing!



I followed Robert's plan by using the intro video (you can download it from his blog) that showed translations, rotations, and reflections. Yes, we gather like we are in kindergarten, when I really want their attention!

We watched the video a couple of times and I asked, "How can you describe Ms. Pac-Man's movements?" They answered she is moving right, up, left. I asked for them to be more descriptive and they began to start speaking the transformation language with turning and flipping. I stopped them when they said turning and gave them the mathematician word rotation, the same for reflection when they said flip, and translation when they said go right/left/up/down. It was magical! We continued our math talk for the next two videos that had single transformations, reflections and rotations.



Next, I had them divide up on the vertical whiteboards. I played the next video that showed all three transformations and asked them to write the movements. After a couple of times through the video, I asked them to look around at each other's notation. They noticed how some groups were more descriptive than others. Some groups had just arrows, some had used the words flip and turn, a couple had used translate, reflect, rotate, and my shining stars had added the unit "dots." We talked about how we could be more specific with our notation by using direction and degrees for rotations, lines of reflection, and by using a unit of measure.

At this point I showed them the last video that has a coordinate plane overlay and had them write the movements on their foldy in their interactive notebooks. The video was on our classroom so they could stop and go at their own pace in groups of two or three. I also gave them mini Ms. Pac-Man's to manipulate as they moved around the board. We said Ms. Pac-Man could not be upside down when she ate. I just let them go and answered questions as they came up. When then same question was asked a couple of times, I stopped everyone and we talked about it. It was super fun to watch them be so engaged and use vocabulary to describe the transformations.



The next day we needed to sure up the notation with direction, degrees, reflection lines, and units. I used this extension from mrmillermath because my competitive kids can't resist a game with points!



Just look at that notation after just a day of discovery from Ms. Pac-Man! Another game we love to play is Turkeys in the Oven from everybody's fave (and Teacher of the Year) Math=Love!



I did Footballs in the Helmet for graphing equations and they were so in to it I thought it would be fun to do for Ms. Pac-Man, Ghosts in the Ms. Pac-Man.



They work a challenge on a dry-erase communicator, in this case, writing the transformations that got Ms. Pac-Man from one location to the other. They work so hard to get ghosts which means chances for points...unless you put them all on the one that turns out to be negative!



I made Challenge #5 have a point where she had to flip then rotate like in the video. This group kept missing it so I had them get out their mini Ms. Pac-Man from the day before and manipulate her for each movement. When they got to the sticky part, they were able to think back to the last video where the same thing happened and we had math talked it out.



They get it checked by me and when it is correct, they get a ghost. They put their ghosts on one of the four Ms. Pac-Mans but don't know the point value. After time is up, I write the values on the board and they add up their points.



So much math love for the MTBoS who never cease to amaze me! And make me a better teacher! I can't wait for Twitter Math Camp!