Monday, November 7, 2011

Intro to IB Type 2 Task

This entry is for you IB math(s) teachers out there. I pulled together an introduction slideshow for the Type II task to make it super clear for kids what the mathematical modeling process needs to look like.

Here is the Prezi, and if you wish to make it fullscreen, just click on the "More" button in the lower right corner of the Prezi presentation to see that option. The plan is to walk the kids through the various steps of modeling, and then to jump right into helping them install Autograph (30-day trial version) on their laptops, and then to play around with the program a bit in class, and then to go over the function basics again, and then to take them through an easy sample task.

This is, of course, meant to be used as a follow-up discussion assuming that your kids have already seen these awesome demo videos Part 1 and Part 2 that I had found on the web.

PS. Also, to help kids keep track of all the function types and features, I made this rather comprehensive handout that you are welcome to take. I know, it's not perfect. I wish kids could just all look at data sets and figure out on their own what functions make sense based on their own awesome mathematical understanding, but I don't think I have enough time with my 12th-graders to make that happen overnight, so I'm giving them this as a bit of help, and I will go over it with them as a class to make sure that they are taking notes and trying to understand the important features of each graph. Better than them going on the internet and copying and pasting things they don't understand, no??


  1. Wow, you've really dug in with the IB-specific stuff. :) I love the comprehensive handout. I've already modified it to suit my needs (primarily made it two pages because I'm obsessive about saving paper, but also added some example tables and modified a few graphs). I'd be happy to send you my revised version if you like.
    In the past, I found that students did figure out an appropriate function by themselves/by talking with each other. No doubt this handout will help.

    My students do not usually use autograph, but will probably benefit from the videos anyway. I plan to devote one lesson to "using Geogebra in portfolio tasks" - it does come useful for type I tasks as well.

    I'm curious about next year, with the complete makeover of the internal assessment for SL/HL. No more portfolios, so then what? A "project, on a topic such as 'water'" says my coordinator. It will probably just be very similar to what Studies groups are already doing.

    The one thing I struggle with in portfolio type II tasks is this: the students have NO knowledge of correlation, it's not presumed knowledge and not part of their course. Yet to do the portfolios well they should understand correlation, not just linear but otherwise as well, and the whole concept of "best fit" function. Otherwise linear/quadratic/logarithmic regression is meaningless to them.
    For now, I've left this issue in the "weirdness" folder, and hope that it will be addressed in the coming syllabus. I'd love to hear how you handle it.

  2. I am hoping students would figure out multiple function models and discuss the pros and cons of each one in their papers before choosing the most appropriate one. One of their models should be found analytically if it's an excellent piece of work. But, I have yet to meet with the other teachers (this will happen on Monday) to discuss common grading expectations. The video is good not because it uses Autograph (although that is handy as well) but because the teacher goes through in detail what is expected and how to approach the task and how to interpret the rubric. I think that is very valuable for students and it's a thinking-out-loud video that they can go back to.

  3. I make sure my students work closely with the grading criteria, as well as a sample task (from the samples, published by IBO), and they seem to all get the "analytically develop a model" part. In general, I find type II tasks done better than type I in SL. HL on the other hand... many tasks require a good deal of mastery of Excel, and my students really struggle with that.

  4. Hi Julia,

    I just collected the IB type 2 tasks and I've started going through them. I am very pleased with what the kids were able to do with the resources that I gave them! Their work demonstrated a great understanding of the type 2 modeling process. Let me know whether these resources helped your kids as well.