Guess the Ages

Date February 2006
Class Advanced Math and Calculus
Teacher Lanette VonSeggern

Guess the Ages

I tried the Guess the Ages in my classes as a break in the difficulty level of the concepts in their courses.  However, I liked the discussion so much I will probably try it in my Algebra 2 class as well.

I liked that there was no need for paper or pencil – we did the entire activity on the graphing calculator.  I had them enter their guess in L1 as I read the names of the celebrities.  We then did mental math in determining the current age of the celebrity – entering this age in L2.  I then simply asked the students to display the data in a scatter plot – very interesting conversations on remembering how to do this on the calculator.  I am proud of students, who remembered the process.  I then simply asked how we could display the correct answer to this problem in the graph.  Believe it or not after a little discussion the students came up with the y = x line.  I then asked them to determine the winner of the guessing game.  Again the discussion was priceless – the winner was determined to be the person with the smallest distance from scatter points to the y = x line (I went with their decision). 

It was interesting to me to note that the students guessed the ages of the younger celebrities more accurately than the older celebrities.  I, however, was more accurate on the celebrities closer to my age. 

I will definitely use this activity again in my courses.  I enjoyed the discussion that the students had regarding these concepts.  The students thought it was neat not to have to have paper and pencil in a math class for a day.