Activity Based Teaching – Skippity Skip

There is so much great stuff out there and sometimes it can be overwhelming. There is no point in reinventing the wheel (maybe just tweaking it to better suit your style, chrome wheels, etc.).


Most of my activities come from Alex’s site. Someone had asked me whether it was easier to find curriculum expectations and then find an activity that covers them, or, find an activity and then pull as many curriculum expectations as you can out of that activity. I prefer the latter and it seems to be the one most teachers use.

Recently, we came up with a new activity. A big thing at my school is “Spark.” This comes from a book written by Harvard professor John Ratey. The philosophy is that your brain is more likely to be active if your body is active.

We currently have a skipping challenge  going on in our library (not the one where you miss class, although when I mentioned we were gonna skip, there was a bit of excitement).


How many skips can you do in a minute? This got me thinking. I can turn this into an activity! I chatted with Mr. Corrigan and we came up with a great 2 day activity to review ratios, linear relations, and some quadratic relations.

Introduction: Students watch the following YouTube video of the world record for skipping.

I stopped the video at 17 seconds and 93 skips and asked the students to determine the number of skips she would make in 30 seconds.


Students completed the ratio table.


Then we watched the rest of the video. I can’t believe how shocked the students were that the math actually worked!

Action: Then we got in groups of 3. Each person was to skip for 30 seconds, 5 times and record their number of skips. It was a nice day outside so we skipped out there.


We returned to the class and everyone found their average rate for 30 seconds. We completed the handout and they graphed their relations.


I asked the students to plot their points, find the slope and initial value. We discussed what each of those meant in the context of the problem. Then students made an equation to represent their skipping.


Quite a few students were shocked about how long it would take them to break the world record that the girl broke in 30 seconds. I’m not the best skipper so I believe it would take me 8 minutes…

Since I am teaching 10P, I wanted to throw in some quadratic relations. If you have an hour to spend in Microsoft Paint, you can come up with yourself and a jump-rope parabola.


This part still needs some work, but there is always next semester. Skippity Skip.


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