Friday, January 25, 2013

Math Links for Week Ending Jan 25th, 2013

Math in the News is a website that puts out a slideshow on a semi regular basis. The slideshows indicate instances where math shows up in the news and includes ideas of where to incorporate them in math curriculum. The most recent one is from November of 2012 and of course includes info about the election. Currently there are 67 of these slideshows so there is quite a back catalog to get caught up with
Curriculum Tags: All

I know that I have already mentioned the Wild About Math blog but they have just uploaded another Inspired by Math interview. This time with Keith Devlin (The Math Guy -among other things). In this almost 2hour interview Keith talks extensively about teaching his MOOC (massively open online course) Introduction to Mathematical Thinking to over 64,000 students. I have blogged a bit about the concept here but this was really interesting to hear some of the logistical aspects. For example, he talked bit about the validity and method for students grading each other.
He also said a couple of things that really resonated with me. I will paraphrase here "Learning math is like learning to ride a bike. You can't learn by just having it explained to you. You have to try it and fail at it and try it and fail at it and then finally you will learn to ride a bike and you will never forget how to do it again" and "In high school I aced my calculus courses but didn't understand calculus until I was a graduate student TAing a calculus course"
Look for his new Math gaming app which should be coming out in about 3 weeks.
Curriculum Tags: All

Here is a great site to get some sinusoidal (and maybe some linear) data for analysis. In fact, I got the sunrise sunset data for Windsor, massaged it into a spreadsheet and then created a Fathom file for you here to use. Have fun. Sundata.csv, Sundata.ftm
Curriculum Tags: MCR3U, MCF3M, MHF4U

With the Superbowl coming up, I thought I would share a slideshow I made for the 2008 Superbowl on all the different ways the money is spent on that one weekend.

Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

I am not completely sure how this could be used in a math class but I was fascinated by the connection of math and economics to show that LeBron James is actually severely underpaid at $17M per year. I am pretty sure you could tie this into statistics. Listen to NPR's Planet Money story here:
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Dan Meyer did a nice montage of disparaging marks against math in the movies. One of the neat things about this clip was the website Subzin. On that site you can enter any words or phrases and it will search out where and when that appeared in their movie database.
Curriculum Tags: All

Another nice video from The Art of the Problem. This time on using tree diagrams with conditional probability.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Friday, January 18, 2013

Math LInks for Week Ending Jan 18th, 2013

The Wild About Math blog tries to bring mathematics to the masses and has a series of interviews with people from the mathematics community. In this post, he has an over hour long interview with Steven Strogatz (Author of "The Joy of x" & "Calculus of Friendship" among other things). Its not a super professional interview but it is worth it to listen to for Strogatz. A few things that I heard that I liked were that the name Rational numbers has to do with the root word "ratio" and not in reference to being reasonable and that the dentist calls the gunk on your teeth "calculus" which comes from calcium. Another neat thing that resonated with me was the idea that in order to reach his readers, he does so with empathy for the way they feel about math.
Curriculum Tags: All

The Centre for Algebraic Thinking was developed to help fight problems with understanding algebra. The video, below, explains the impetus. Its a little boring at the beginning but it talks about what is on the site towards the end. In particular I like the Formative assessment questions and the Technology summary.
Curriculum: All

 A Vi Hart video from last fall. This one is about vectors so it might be a nice addition to any discussion in Calculus & Vectors.
Curriculum Tags: MCV4U

Friday, January 11, 2013

Math Links for Week Ending Jan 11, 2013

The Desmos online graphing tool has just got better. Now you can use a table feature to either create a scatter plot or show the table of values of a function. Even if you don't want to use the table feature, the fact that you can put multiple graphs on is a great feature. So you could create this cool Ironman graph using only functions and restrictions. That would be a neat assignment for a grade 11 functions class that would really show if they understand domain, range and restrictions (Maybe start with something simpler than Ironman though).
Tables examples:
Curriculum Tags: All
A nice resource for intersection of linear relations: The detention buy-out. Including video Minds On intro, PDF worksheet and sample lesson ideas
Curriculum Tags: MFM1P, MPM1D, MFM2P, MPM2D

I like this simple resource for students to practice exponentials. It is just a matching activity but the kind of thing that would take a bit of time to create and low and behold, someone has created it and shared it. I love the internet. For the actual slides, follow this link.
Curriculum Tags: Curriculum Tags: MCR3U, MCF3M, MAP4C

New resources from Texas Instruments. TI-84 links include linear functions, exponentials, quadrilaterals, probability and more
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P, MCR3U, MCF3M, MAP4C

Dan Meyer has had a post about his data from the previous year each year for the past few years. He keeps track of all kinds of metrics about himself on a daily basis. He has a challenge for you to do the same starting with your cellular habits. Though I like his favourite summary from 2009 (seen below). Its a great example of showing data that would be good for just about any class teaching single variable data management. I also love the "Behind the Scenes" post that talks about things like the technical aspects of creating the video and how much math went into the production:"Problem: you want the counter to read "0″ at 773 frames into the composition and "44651″ at 795 frames; Solution: a linear equation"
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U

Dan Meyer's 2009 Annual Report from Dan Meyer on Vimeo.

Vi Hart's latest symmetry installment. Sphereflakes continues on her journey dealing with symmetry and creating snowflakes. This time she does a great job of talking about symmetry by cutting through solids with planes. That part could even be used for some 3D plane discussions in Calculus & Vectors.
Curriculum TAGS: Gr7, Gr8, MCV4U

I have pointed out the falling dominoes chain reaction before but now, it seems, we have some more rigorous mathematics to explain why it happens. Of course you can also look at Dan Meyer's 3Act task that breaks up the video seen below and eventually asks how many dominoes would be needed to knock down a domino the size of a skyscraper (
Curriculum Tags: MCR3U, MCF3M, MAP4C
And here is an even bigger domino topple

I am sure that this wasn't a real Peanuts cartoon but its still funny. Thanks to @ddmeyer for reminding me of this one.
Along the same lines but way less appropriate is this one:

Friday, January 4, 2013

Math Links for Week Ending Jan 4, 2013

In this activity, students choose a linear equation then graph it. Then they choose a card that says something like "Double the slope" or "The y intercept is divided by 4". They then have to create the new equation and graph the result. Templates for game card and equation cards are included
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM2P

A really neat application of Pythagorean Theorem. What is the most efficient way to tie your shoes. Also a new blog that I hadn't seen before: e to the i pi (a nice nod to the Euler equation).
Curriculum Tags: Gr8G, MFM1P, MPM1D

Its a good data set, just not a good topic. Mother Jones Magazine did some research on mass shootings over the last 30 years. They have made all the data available in spreadsheet form ready to download. Easy to analyze in Fathom.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U
Some recommendations for teachers of math to help stop student misconceptions. These would be particularly good for new teachers but worth looking at for all teachers. I like this one "Do not teach right-triangle trigonometry from inside the classroom!" Thanks to Joe Sisco for pointing this post out.
Curriculum Tags: All
According to a German study of over 3500 students, when it comes to improving in math, motivation (not necessarily ability) has the greatest positive effect. Read about it here:
Curriculum Tags: All

Some nice images showing things that appear random but aren't and vise versa. Which of the images to the right do you think are random?
Curriculum Tags: Gr7P, Gr8P, MBF3C, MDM4U