Rice Krispie Conic Sections

After seeing Rice Krispie Conic Sections on Shawn’s blog, I knew I had to make them for my class.  I’m so glad I did.  They were amazing.  They are actually very easy to make, and totally worth it.  We have been doing parabolas all year, but it was so cool to cut a conic and SEE a parabola inside!

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 10.13.13 PMTips for anyone who wants to make them.  I used snow cone cups that I got on Amazon.com.  I first looked at Target, but there were no snow cone cups to be found in January.  Once the treats were made and set, the snow cone paper just tore off very easily.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 10.11.34 PMThe Rice Krispie Treat recipe is not on the Rice Krispies box, but on the marshmallow package.  It took a double recipe to fill 18 snow cone cups.  I only have one Alg 2 class, so this was fine.  But, if I had more students I would probably not fill the cups up as full, so a double recipe would fill more cups.

I gave each group of students two snow cone krispie treats (so we could make a full conic) and some plastic knives, and then we were off!  I first had them cut a circle off of the top.  Then we moved to ellipses and parabolas.  For the hyperbola, I had them stick their two cones together.  I was impressed at how well it went.  Sometimes you do an activity that sounds great, but doesn’t really give you the full effect.  The rice krispie cones turned out better than I even thought they would!  And of course, the best part about Rice Krispie Conic sections is that you get to eat them!  This was worth its weight in gold today during the LAST period of the day before 8 inches of snow was expected to fall!

Trying Conic Cards

I haven’t taught Conic Sections in many, many years.  But even though it has been many years, I still remember how much students disliked them.

After hearing Cindy Johnson speak so enthusiastically at TMC14 about her Conic Cards, I knew I wanted to try them.  Amy and Sarah had great success with the cards as well. So, I’m going all in.  If you have tried them and have any suggestions for me, please throw them in the comments.  I start Monday.  I can’t wait to try them!

I had read from other bloggers how much time it takes to makes these cards. I thought I understood, but really had no idea until I started printing them out. It took for-ev-er. I also laminated them and then cut them out while watching a movie with the family. It took me over two hours to cut them out, and I only made five sets. (I’m at a private school so I only have 20 kids per class). Thank goodness for snow days.

The entire time I printed, laminated, and cut each page I just kept thinking, “I cannot believe that Cindy CREATED all of these cards!” And I can’t even imagine how long it took her to make them! So, thank you Cindy for your great work, but especially for being willing to share them with all of us!  This is why I love the #MTBOS.

The entire set of Conic Cards including worksheets, a project, and even a test to go with them can be downloaded here.  There are even two levels of worksheets, a standard and an advanced set.

I also plan to make Rice Crispie treat conic sections that we can cut apart, IF I have the time (soccer!).  And no, I am not above bribing my HS students with food.  Whatever it takes…