Putt Putt

3 Act Math

Act 1

1. Will the ball go in the hole?
2. Write down a guess.

This task was inspired by Dan Meyer’s “Pool Bounce” lesson. Check it out for an amazing breakdown of implementation.

Act 2

3. What information would be useful to figure this out?
4. Write down some questions you have in your head right now.

Again, I highly recommend checking out Dan’s lesson for what happens in Act 2. We can start by giving each student a screenshot from the end of Act 1.


Here is a printer-friendly one that’s easier to write on.


The goal is for students to use angle reflections to predict where the ball will bounce off each wall. However, more information is needed in order to figure out if the ball can make it past the spinner before getting hit.

Here’s the spinner speed.

And the ball speed.

The kids can use a ruler to measure how far the ball traveled during Act 1 to get a rate of change. Then, they can use the rate, along with measurements of the other predicted paths of the shot, to determine what point in time the ball could come into contact with the spinner.

In addition, they’ll have to find the range of time that the spinner’s path will be in the way of the ball.

Act 3

Common Core Standards
Given a geometric figure and a rotation, reflection, or translation, draw the transformed figure using, e.g., graph paper, tracing paper, or geometry software. Specify a sequence of transformations that will carry a given figure onto another.
Derive using similarity the fact that the length of the arc intercepted by an angle is proportional to the radius, and define the radian measure of the angle as the constant of proportionality; derive the formula for the area of a sector.
identify the sequence of transformations that will carry a given pre-image onto an image on and off the coordinate
Apply the proportional relationship between the measure of an arc length of a circle and the circumference of the circle to solve problems


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