This linear equations project was one of my favorite things about teaching Algebra. My students would run into the room and right over to the windowsill, excited to see their grass and about taking the day's data. The project is so simple - students plant seeds, grow grass, measure, plot growth, find lines of fit - but the learning opportunities stretch the project so much farther. Students get attached to their little cups of grass. They see slope and line of fit in real life. We learn about interpolation on Mondays by estimating the height our grass was over the weekend and we learn about extrapolation by using our lines of fit. Giving their grass a "haircut" even allows for a real-life first introduction to piecewise functions. I also like to bring Ecology into the discussion by talking about limiting factors on the grass growth.

Entertaining a toddler is tricky business. Since I am not in the classroom this year, my daughter and I will be doing this project together and updating this blog post as we go along (well, I'll be plotting, finding the line of fit and typing since she's only 3:)

**Day 0:**

Preparing the cup and planting the seeds

Pop holes in a paper cup. I had this plastic cup lying around, otherwise paper cups work way better. Grass roots don't like standing water, so the cup needs drainage holes. Pop a few holes with a thumbtack in the bottom of one of those waxy paper cups and your grass will be so happy. I had to melt holes in the bottom of this one, which is not the best kid-friendly way to go.

Soil, seeds, saucer, water. Add soil, place the cup on a tray to catch the runoff water and add about this many seeds. Watch out for the kid who covers the top with seeds an inch deep the second you blink. That kid needs a little extra guidance. I found wheat grass seeds in our house, which is what prompted the project today. In school we always used regular lawn grass seeds.

Cover the seeds with about 1/8-inch of soil (just so the seeds are covered) and water thoroughly. Place the cup on a windowsill where it'll get sun.

In my class, grass watering (only if needed, which took a little explaining) and data collection was our warm up for the 20 days of the project. Once the grass started to grow and we could start thinking about slope, equations, line of fit, etc., analysis would stretch a bit farther into each class. The project is ongoing where a little is done each day.

I'll be updating this post as my daughter and I go along. If you want to check out the project, you can find it here.

*More to come.....*