# '16-'17 General Discussion for Optional Lesson 3

Optional lesson U1: minimum spanning tree

This lesson was really cool. Kids were interested. Beth’s strategy for roll playing bidding (min bid) for a contract to build a router network was spot on. Kids liked this.

This lesson can be pounded out quickly. It could squeeze down to 30 min if the practice problems are given as homework.

I’ll definitely do it again and try the other optional lessons.

Also, it’s a nice break from the internet simulator.

Cheers!

Here is an assessment for MST.

MinSpanTree.Quiz

I used pieces of this lesson in my Algebra 2 classes as a puzzler/warmup.
The solution method(s) to this foster the kind of thinking that are part of the analysis and reasoning standards mathematics is supposed to embrace.

I ran this lesson today with my small class size of 4 students. Overall we spent 2.5 hrs on it, which included time for the end-of-lesson assessment, which may be more than the average class would afford it. There were challenges in using the answer-key’s algorithm to confirm how the minimum solution is decided; I wanted to give the students time to see the algorithm actually work for them (their own strategy/process was not very specific). We had to refer to the suggested outside source for an example pseudo-code of the K. algorithm to help us all figure out that the resultant solution was to be built starting from an empty set (i.e. had to step in to the interpretation of coding). I wanted to give the students a feel for how “computer science” practically fits in to the needs of internet packet routing at their current level of understanding (post lesson 11). I was finally able to say that “you now have practical experience with computer science”!