Helping Nepal Through Learning About Logarithms

nepalA few months ago I created an application investigation for my students involving logarithms in which one of the areas focused on earthquakes and the Richter scale. Students researched several earthquakes and saw the effects that differing sizes made on an area. Recently, my principal sent me this article about Nepal’s earthquake and again highlighted how much bigger one earthquake is versus another, even when the Richter scale values are only a small difference. I decided I was going to show this to my students as a great visual and reminder of mathematics in our own world, but didn’t want to just leave it at that. I thought we could do something for Nepal. I sought out one of my student’s who is the sophomore board president and asked her if she had any ideas (kids are always more creative!) She came up with the great idea to sell t-shirts around the school as a way to raise funds for a charity in Nepal. Two students then designed the tshirt and we decided to go with this local post-graduate student’s efforts who has been working directly in Nepal (see the article here and here). We loved the description of all they were doing there and that we could see exactly where the funds would go. After selling 100 shirts and paying back the funds we purchased the shirts with, we will be donating $195 to their organization!


If you are interested in the investigation, here is the student worksheet: Applications of Logs. I had students choose 3 areas they were interested in studying between population growth, earthquakes, sound/decibels, pH scale/chemistry, and risk. The population growth was an online investigation to understand the population growth equation, the rate, and predict future models. The earthquake investigation asked students to research different earthquakes that have happened around the world and see the impact of different Richter scale sizes. In the sound/decibels investigation, students used an iPad to record different sounds and then use logarithms to calculate the decibels. The pH scale investigation began by having students watch a video on pH and then analyze the pH value of certain foods that we eat. Finally, the risk investigation helped students to understand the role of an actuary and how logarithms are use to assess risk.

Two More Review Games to Try Out

We played two different review games this week in Algebra II and Geometry. I gladly give credit to the two blogs hyperlinked throughout this post after seeing my students highly engaged and excited to do math practice with the addition of these two games.

Featured imageThe first game is one I call “The Laundry Game” and we played it before a geometry quiz. This game can be applied to any content and any grade level even though I actually found it on a 3rd grade blog. I love this game because it takes a normal review and adds movement, competition, and immediate feedback. My intern and I were talking about how changing the format of a routine review into this game makes students do so many more problems than they normally would. I changed it up a bit by providing the answers at each station rather than having students come to me to check. That way they could check their own work and then the teacher could be facilitating and answering questions. At the end, we drew their names from the buckets, awarded prizes, and then explained the reasoning behind the name, “The Laundry Game.” We told them when they go home that night, they will find the problems they need to review again in their pockets with their laundry! Featured image

The second game we played is a BINGO game that I found here. We played this as addition to a normal practice day. I have seen and played BINGO before in the classroom, but I love how this one gives choice to students and the downloadable file is already made for you to give to students…so easy! My students LOVED this…after the first student won, several kids shouted out, “can we keep playing?!” Little did they know, they were implying, can we keep practicing logs!! FullSizeRender (3)