PBL Pathways

Content Area

College Algebra

Time Frame

2 to 3 weeks with Mini Lectures

Published

May 27, 2008

Keywords

Linear, modeling, ratio

Project Title

Students and Teachers

Author

David Graser, Yavapai College, Prescott, AZ (David_Graser@yc.edu)

Abstract

This project grew out of the highly publicized reports of teacher shortages in public schools. At about the same time, many reports also publicized a nursing shortage. I asked my students, "How would you document such a shortage?"

The data for this project are from the Statistical Abstract of the United States at Fedstats. Most textbooks emphasize time series and this data allows other representations of the data (see Notes below). In this project, I chose to focus on a recommendation by the NEA that the student to teacher ratio be 15 to 1 in classrooms. Students look at national and state data and form student to teacher ratios for the time period from 2000 to 2006. All students complete a common component on the national data and then apply what they learn to state data that they are assigned. The ultimate goal is to determine the year in which the state and national student to teacher ratio reaches 15 students per teacher.

Project Content

Project Letter: DOC | PDF
Project Data: Excel | PDF (Updated 8/16/09)

Scaffolding Resources

Technology Assignment : Graph Formula DOC | PDF - In this tech assignment, students learn how to graph a simple linear formula on a graphing calculator and in Excel.

Technology Assignment: Scatter Plot  DOC | PDF - In this tech assignment, students learn how to make a scatter plot on a graphing calculator and in Excel.

Technology Assignment: Line Through Two Points DOC | PDF - As a precursor to modeling data using regression, students learn how to draw a line through two points on a scatter plot on a graphing calculator and in Excel.

Technology Assignment: Linear Regression DOC | PDF - This tech assignment helps students to learn how to model data in a scatter plot using linear regression. Instructions are detailed for a graphing calculator as well as in Excel.

Video: Fitting Lines to Data
Video: Solving Models with Excel and Mathtype
Video: Formatting Numbers and Adding a Second Curve to a Graph in Excel

How to Find a Point of Intersection on a TI Graphing Calculator PDF - This document shows how to put in two equations and find the point of intersection using the intersect command from the CALC menu.

How to Find a Point of Intersection in Excel PDF - This document shows how to find the point of intersection using GOAL SEEK in Excel.

Notes

 

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