# &quot;Real Life Graphs&quot; - Edexcel Unit 2

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by MasterMaths, May 21, 2011.

1. ### MasterMaths

How often have you had the need to draw a graph of the depth of water against time whilst you fill up various different containers?
I can't remember the last time I saw such a question in an exam (but could be wrong - you all have far more experience than me), so why do ALL the textbooks (including the Edexcel endorsed Ox-Box ones) always use this type of example?
I'm scared of not covering it in case it does get included in the paper, but I find it so annoying to teach as it's totally not "real-life" despite its title. (I have no problem with things being taught and tested purely for the benefit of learning them - but not when it gets referred to as "real life" by the examiner)
Bit of a rant, I suppose, but, to get to my question, does anyone have any other suggestions to go alongside water/time and distance(from home)/time. I've done lots of real life linear graphs which work well, but am having a bit of a creative block here ... I was thinking of something to do with money, but then realised that taking &pound;10 out of your account is instantaneous rather than a "flow". So maybe that's why it's always water and distance, as they're continuous and are easy for the kids to conceptualise .... hmmm may have answered my question here!

2. ### rohirrim

Marathon running? Formula one? Similar. Would they work?

3. ### MasterMaths

I suppose - but ultimately, they're still just distance/time graphs aren't they.
I guess I want something which can be plotted continuously, and in asking for that I've realised why the "filling up a funny shaped vase" topic is such an ever present in our textbooks - there aren't really many other altenatives.

4. ### ResourceFinder

They may not be graphs "used in real life"
But they are

Graphs representing real situations

So they are "Real Life Graphs"

6. ### Betamale

Less than 6 months ago on the Edexcel higher Nov 2010 2381 paper 14 question 11 of 19
IMO you have to put your feeling aside and teach the syllabus or make the decision that kids are either good enough to get it without the lesson being taught or hope it doesnt come up.
I despise teaching effective questionaires yet as my duty to the kids I have to. I think its patronsing, common sense and has nothing to do with maths. The thought o it appearing on a higher paper (which it did last summer) makes me slightly sad.
With the real life topic, most examples are the same and there are plenty of resources to teach it if you are not comfortable to do so.
Whiteboard maths have a nice powerpoint on it if you can get hold of it. I am happy to send one but believe I would be breaking copyright/file sharing rules????
Perhaps it may be online as one of their sample PPs

7. ### googolplexOccasional commenter

I agree that this sort of question has little to do with 'real life'. However, I do think it is a good way of getting kids to engage with graphs and variables.

8. ### MasterMaths

Thanks for that blog brookes ... I'd not heard of it, but have lost quite a few hours to it this afternoon, and quite like it. Good timing as well, since he's doing the "make your own graph story video" offer thingy. I might take him up on that offer - and possibly even open up to my class and see what they can come up with. I'll save it for time/distance graphs though.
And thanks for the other replies too. I think I was in a bit of a mood this morning (complete lack of sleep) so was ranting and went a bit OTT. I do dislike teaching it, but, to be honest, I doubt very much that I would seriously consider dropping it (especially whilst still training!!). I don't mind the "distance from" graphs, it's just the water levels I don't like. Found a good resource on Nrich, but that's at too high a level for my class unfrotunatgely (C/D Year 10), may try and simplify it at a later date though.
Don't have access to Whiteboard Maths unfortunately, so whilst I would love a copy, I don't want you to go breaking any ules Betamale. Thanks though - will have a look at a few other things, and if not, I'll just be taking a collection of jugs, vases and and othe containers with me on Monday I think. My class will need to SEE it before they can start generalising and drawing graphs just from a cross section of the container.

9. ### mmmmmathsNew commenter

Have you seen the red box resources?

http://www.nationalstemcentre.org.uk/elibrary/resource/350/language-of-functions-and-graphs

10. ### mmmmmathsNew commenter

Or have a play with this

http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/FillingAContainerDefinedByACurve/

Sure I've also got a link to a simple demo but can't lay my hands on it at the moment.

I also love to use Archimedes in his bath....just do a search think it's Maths online.....

11. ### MasterMaths

That wolfram app is perfect - thank you! Stem website running really slow (on my laptop, anyway) for some reason, but will try it again later.I've also just checked Boardworks, and they have a (slightly simple) demonstration which I might use to start them off with.
Thanks again.

13. ### mmmmmathsNew commenter

Ah, cleo was the one I could not Finns.

Here is one for next time

http://www.sycd.co.uk/dtg/

14. ### mmmmmathsNew commenter

Finns??? Wish my iPad would stop autocorrecting.

Find.