Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Graphing in the palm of your hand

Go ahead.  Take a look at your right palm.  What do you see?  What do you notice?

Do you see your life line, the one that kind of surrounds your thumb?  Do you see 2 more prominent lines?  If not, maybe squish your hand a little bit and see if you can find 3 creases.  Do these look like any kinds of graphs we are learning?

I went to a session at NCTMBoston called Alg 1 Common Core: This is How We Do It!  It was presented by Ms. Michelle Jackson and Ms. Karen Rivers from Arkansas.  They came up with this activity and I tried it. 

It was perfect timing because we were just working on comparing linear, exponential, and quadratic graphs and there you have it, right in the palm of your hand.  We drew on our hand, traced it onto patty paper, came up with 4 points on each line, entered the data into our calculator, performed some regressions and voila - an equation for each function!  We all thought it was pretty cool!  I recommend it. 

I did it in our 20 minutes after lunch period but that was too short.  I would recommend at least 30 minutes.  


  1. Thanks for recapping the talk, Jen. Did they say why they wanted students to create functions to model those lines? What was the purpose there?

  2. Hi Dan - We happened to be doing a lesson comparing linear, quadratic, and exponential equations. I did not stay for this entire presentation at NCTM. It was taking a long time getting to the point. It was gallery style and the "class" was doing it. Took a long time to explain. I got the idea. Mine was practicing regression and comparing the different functions.