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Middle Grades Math: Toying with a Walk
by Texas Instruments - Create Your own Lesson

Published on August 27, 2011


  • Students will determine the relationship between the number of "steps" a walker takes and the time it takes to make these "steps".
  • Students will apply the mathematics they know to solve problems arising in everyday life, society, and the workplace (CCSS Mathematical Practice).
  • Students will use functions to model relationships between quantities (CCSS Mathematical Standard).
  • Students will construct a function to model a linear relationship between two quantities (CCSS Mathematical Standard).
  • Students will determine the rate of change and initial value of the function from a description of a relationship, including reading these from a table or from a graph (CCSS Mathematical Standard)
  • Students will interpret the rate of change and initial value of a linear function in terms of the situation it models and in terms of its graph or a table of values (CCSS Mathematical Standard).


  • function
  • model
  • y-intercept
  • slope
  • table
  • mean/average
  • speed
  • independent variable
  • dependent variable

About the Lesson

This lesson involves collecting time data as a walker moves at a constant pace.
As a result, students will:

  • Use a stopwatch built into the TI-Nspire document.
  • Model the event with a function that best fits the time vs. step plot.
  • Relate the real event of a walker moving at a constant speed to a linear function in the form of y = mx + b.
  • Optional: Explore how the plot of time vs. distance varies from distance vs. time.

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