Friday, December 2, 2016

Sticky Note Task Expanded

With my 7th graders, we recently finished the sticky note task, which is a compilation of tasks by Andrew Stadel and Jon Orr. I have done this in the past, but added the part by Jon this year. Surface area is probably the predominant math concept, but I found question 4 to be particularly interesting. Before we talk about that, here is the task...

Q1: How many sticky notes are needed to cover every exposed face of the cabinet?

Q2: How many pads would you need to have enough sticky notes?

Q3: How many sticky notes fit on the whiteboard?

Q4: If you had 120 of the 1.5 inch by 2 inch sticky notes, what is one size of board that you could cover (dimensions and area)?

Q5: What fraction and percent represents the following categories?
*Pink and blue Combined?
*All colors that are not pink or blue?

For question 4, students had a variety of amounts of sticky notes on the boards...anywhere from 12 notes by 10 notes to more of a ribbon board look of 120 notes by 1 note or 60 notes by 2 notes. The unexpected part for the students came when figuring out how much space the board they created took up. No matter the configuration of the 120 stick notes, the area of the board was always 360 square inches. This makes sense since all of the boards have the same number of sticky notes, and each note has an individual area of 3, but this took some time for everyone to comprehend. A great discussion piece for sure. 

The other thing I think was interesting about this task was if the students chose to find the sticky notes by finding the area of the board/face of the cabinet first, or find the number of sticky notes along the length and the width first. Some student did one method for question 1 and the other for question 3. 

This was a great task that would be appropriate for almost all levels of middle school. I have included some student work below. 






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