Year 8 Maths in Second Life - A guest post, by Mrs Tracey Cameron
My year 8 class had been introduced to Second life in their science class early in 2009 and were very enthusiastic about Second life and exploring Booralie Island. After looking at Booralie Island myself, I had an idea that I could incorporate some of the mathematical concepts that they had been learning into an exercise in Second Life.
The class had just been learning about data analysis and data representation and I thought this might be a good opportunity to put these concepts into practice on the island. I wanted the class to measure the heights of trees on the island, list the data in a table and then produce a graph of the data.
Steve Collis was instrumental in developing the "Statistics Garden" that was used for this activity:
One of the problems with measuring the heights of the trees was that the standard trees were all the same height. Steve managed to fix this by planting some trees deeper in the ground.
During the lesson, students, went to the statistics garden and calculated the heights of the trees by using the location coordinates on the toolbar. The students found the coordinates of the base of the tree and then flew to the top of the tree. They then found the height of the tree by finding the difference in coordinates.
Once the students had collected data for half a dozen trees they were then able to create a table of data in Excel. They then used the excel graphing tools to produce graphs of their data.
The best graphs were then posted in second life:
This last part was the biggest incentive for the students. Having their work displayed in second life gave them a great deal of satisfaction and pride.
My second expedition to Booralie Island with Year 8 was after we had been working on geometry. I had the idea that the class could generate their own treasure map using geometrical terms and bearings. To do this, I provided the students with a blank pro-forma and asked them to develop a 10 step treasure map :
The follow up to this activity will be when we place treasure at the end of the treasure map and ask the students to follow someone else's treasure map. Steve will again assist in this process by providing password protected boxes with treasure inside for the students that correctly follow the treasure map.
I have not yet done this second part of the activity, but am very excited to see how it works!