April 17-20, 2013
NCTM 2013 CTSC was proud to participate in the 2013 annual National Council for Teachers of Mathematics conference in Denver, Colorado. The Center facilitated a gallery workshop:
Thinking Outside The Box: A Chocolatey Optimization Problem (Workshop)
CTSC Facilitators, Rita Sanchez and Greta Keltz, guided workshop participants through the exploration of a real-world optimization problem:
Imagine that you are a chocolatier that wants to start selling cubed-shaped chocolates. To maximize your profit, you need to minimize the cost of packaging. Using your mathematical knowledge of Measurement and Data, Geometry, and Functions, you will design and construct the ideal candy box through this CCSS-aligned, hands-on performance task.
To model project-based learning, attendees constructed a candy box with given dimensions from a sheet of construction paper. They explored the relationship between the dimensions of a box and its volume in order to design and construct a box with the greatest volume. Participants applied geometry formulas in the context of real-world situations and described the functional relationships between quantities graphically using spreadsheets.
During the workshop, participants identified patterns, determined relationships, used appropriate tools and manipulatives (e.g. unit cubes), and explored multiple problem solving strategies. They collaborated with fellow workshop participants to construct viable arguments to support their mathematical reasoning. This student-centered task provided workshop participants with the opportunity to assess students’ mathematical thinking and understanding.