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Optimization: old dogs and new tasks. (English)
Math. Teach. (Reston) 105, No. 9, 686-691 (2012).
Summary: This article introduces an optimization task with a ready-made motivating question that may be paraphrased as follows: “Are you smarter than a Welsh corgi?" The authors present the task along with descriptions of the ways in which two groups of students approached it. These group vignettes reveal as much about the nature of calculus students’ problem-solving behavior. In addition, a careful consideration of the groups’ work suggests an order for orchestrating a follow-up class discussion that builds on some of the groups’ realizations and will make the learning goals more accessible to the entire class. Further, the authors suggest that such a problem might be used many years before calculus with students in algebra or prealgebra. (ERIC)
Classification: N64 I44
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