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Learning Maths Outside the Classroom - Data-Loggers & Distance

This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 28 April 2008 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 21 October 2010 by ncetm_administrator

School GroundsSchool Grounds

Data-Loggers & Distance - Time Graph in the School Grounds

We have used the TI Calculator Based Ranger with teachers and pupils to generate distance-time graphs both inside and outside the classroom.  An example of their use with groups of Y8 pupils and laptops was filmed by 3T for the DfES as one of the 6 video case studies released on a DVD in the free 2005 DfES pack called: “Embedding ICT @ Secondary KS3 Mathematics”. 

This pack contains a coherent set of subject specific advice, guidance and example materials to support more effective use of ICT in the teaching and learning of mathematics. The school videoed was Davison Church of England High School for Girls – an 11-16  Technology College in Worthing, Sussex – and the teacher is Maria Stewart – now Head of Department at St. Andrews CE High School for Boys, Worthing.  She used materials which Alison Clark-Wilson and Adrian Oldknow produced on “real-time distance-time graphing” which currently resides in the Practical Support Pack for ICT in Teachernet. Click here to view the website.

Curriculum Focus
Creating, analysing and interpreting real time distance-time graphs.

Learning Objectives
Most pupils will:
  • make different simple movements to create sets of data and recognise what the distance-time graph would look like for each set of data;
  • suggest a function for a given or generated set of data, plot the graph of the function and express it as an equation.

Pupils making slower progress will:

  • understand the link between a simple movement and the resulting distance-time graph with support;
  • express a given function as an equation.

Pupils making faster progress will:

  • experiment with making different movements to create sets of data and suggest what the distance-time graph would look like for each set of data;
  • suggest functions for a range of given or generated sets of data, plot the graph for each function and express them as equations.
A key data-logging resource for producing distance-time graphs is the Calculator Based Ranger (CBR) by Texas Instruments.

 Click here to see a video of the CBR.

In the next video extract, a teacher from Tanbridge House School, a science, mathematics and computing college in Horsham, Sussex uses the CBR data logger with a lower ability class to generate and interpret distance time graphs.

 Click here to see a video of the CBR in use with a lower ability Y8 class.

Although the video extracts are classroom based, it is clear that this technology has many applications outside the classroom, and can involve projects that would be regarded as potentially dangerous in the classroom - projects involving pupils from KS2 upwards, bouncing balls, launching projectiles and propelling mechanical objects. The only limitation, in fact, is the working range of the Ranger itself.


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