Friday, March 29, 2013

Math Links for Week Ending Mar 29th, 2013

Here is a super fun activity that puts a gaming spin on drawing circles. Its an
app that asks you to draw as good a circle as you can (with your mouse) and it will then judge how good you are (based on the comparison of perimeter and area). And just to make it even funner, you get a picture of a cat (angry or happy) depending on how well you do.
Curriculum Tags: Gr8, MPM1D, MPM2D, MFM1P

I just can't get enough of the Desmos online graphing calculator. Just found out that they have a great youtube channel ( and a nice Pinterest Page ( Lots of good stuff here
Curriculum Tags: All

Dan Meyer has a really interesting problem that he asks about regular polygons.
Sure you may be able to draw a regular polygon with 7 sides or 12 sides but what about 3.5 sides? Its a really neat exercise for some deep discussion about geometric principles. It is also pretty cool how his readers came to his aid to produce a variety of dynamic options to look at all the possibilities (even one that uses Desmos)
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D

Here is a tough trig assignment that would be good assessing basic trig functions
Curriculum Tags: MPM2D, MCF3M, MCR3U

I really like this Trig identities activity where students seem to graph different functions but upon actually graphing them they are all the same. Nicely done. Worksheets included.
Curriculum Tags: MCR3U, MHF4U

Here is an activity about ratios, scale diagrams and proportions that uses a lot of real pictures (and maybe some contrived contexts but they are fun). Worksheets included.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

Here is a cool activity about area of irregular shapes. Students actually measure their
own areas.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, MFM1P

Interesting article about the math used when running a marathon. Could be used for simple number sense calculations and possibly rates. I know when I am running I am constantly using rates to calculate splits.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8

Sometimes math can be wielded incorrectly under the guise of expert testimony. That is the premise of a book called Math on Trial. Here are some stories of how math was used incorrectly to convict innocent people. Especially where probability is concerned.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MDM4U

Some funny images:

Friday, March 22, 2013

Math Links for Week Ending Mar 22nd, 2013

Was in a session with John Scammell today and was reminded of this great starter for a problem. The largest gummy bear. So here is a blog post that has links to a few different people that have used this (including John).
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MFM1P, MPM1D, MFM2P, MPM2D

Nice beginning of a 3Acts from Dan Meyer (who else?) This one is about discounts and the premiss is about what kind of discount would you choose. The nice thing is the links to the similar and real coupons that ask similar questions (from
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8

What a great project Advanced Functions. Why not make families of functions into an art project. I love the way this teacher displays them for the entire school to see like an art opening. Awesome
Curriculum Tags: MHF4U

I like this post from I Speak Math about doing homework. I struggle with the idea of giving homework. Yes it is important for kids to practice but our weakest kids often don't do the homework because they either don't think they can and aren't willing to try or when they do try they get frustrated and quit easily. I don't know that there is any one strategy that always works but anything is worth a try. From the blog: "The homework is always easier than the work we do in class.  I do not want them to struggle at home where I can’t help them.  I just want to reaffirm the main ideas in class."
Curriculum Tags: All

Want to calculate Pi without all that pesky business of circles and stuff? Have all kinds of toothpicks and don't know what to do with them. Why not use them to calculate Pi using the Buffon's needle experiment. A great way to show how probability is connected to Pi
Curriculum Tags: Gr8, MDM4U

Here is a nice activity for calculus about related rates. Well laid out and includes some introspective stuff about why to do related rates.
Curriculum Tags: MCV4U

Here's a fun little activity dealing with properties of quadrilaterals. It is to use the idea of an Instagram profile that kids have to make for different quadrilaterals. Its an activity that doesn't have to be specific to any quadrilateral but could be used for any thing that has characteristics that could be described.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8

Taboo is a game where you are given a word that you have to describe for your friends to guess. The catch is that you are given four other words that you cannot use while describing your mystery word. Why not create some cards to do the same thing in math. This teacher did and has her students actually create the word sets.
Curriculum Tags: All

Friday, March 15, 2013

Math Links for Week Ending Mar 15, 2013

Super Ultimate Graphing Challenge is a very nice game based app that looks at distance time graphs. Its not an app for the iPad but for the computer (its flash based so unless you have something like Rover you won't be able to use it on the iPad). But it does use the game interface really well. And of course, heed the warning: "you may learn physics if you play this game"
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P, MFM2P

Have you tried the app 4 Pics 1 Word (iTunes, Android)? Its not bad but one blogger has started to create a math edition. This would be a great way to introduce vocabulary to the math class (any class really). Check it out.
Curriculum Tags: All
Great data from Canadian Schools, Air Canada Jazz Pilots and Chris Hadfield on the ISS regarding Neutron Radiation. Thanks to Sue Di Laudo for this one
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P, MDM4U, MAP4C

I thought this would be a great resource for a data management class. Its from the radio show RadioLab and this is an audio podcast about science. In this episode they use data from counting words to diagnose Alzheimer's. Specifically in Agatha Christie. Then they take it further to suggest that this could even be used as a indicator of increased chance of Alzheimer's by reading essays you have written at the age of 18. Very cool use of data
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Friday, March 8, 2013

Math Links for Week Ending Mar 8, 2013

I am usually not an advocate of politically charged statistics without references but it is my understanding that this data isn't too far from the truth. The thing that makes this really nice though is that it is a really good example of data visualization and perception
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U, MAP4C

A few weeks ago TI announced the new iPad app for nSpire. At the time it wasn't available in Canada. That has changed. Now you can get it here in Canada and if you act now (by March 10th) you can get it for the special discounted rate of $4.99 (regular price is $29.99). So don't delay. Watch a video demo here
Curriculum Tags: All
This is a great site for real time Earthquake data. Put in your parameters and then it spits out a table with all the relevant data about earthquakes in your search parameters. You can then copy and paste the data into Excel or Fathom with only minimal massaging. Here is my Fathom file of the 2011-2012 earthquakes.
Curriculum Tags: MBF3C, MDM4U, MAP4C

Another fun source of data is Wolfram Alpha. For example you can, for example, get data about the popularity of your name. For example, here is the data on my first name, David.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U, MAP4C

Also from Wolfram Alpha is some pictures drawn with functions. I like the Rolling Stones the best as it contains the symbol for Pi (look closely)
Curriculum Tags: MCR3U

Speaking of Pi, check out my Pinterest page on Pi day since its coming up next week
Curriculum Tags: All

Lists are great time wasters. So why not a list of awesome videos about Math. This time from the social media site Mashable.
Curriculum Tags: All

Here is a nice picture of a kids project that is a great representation of the amount of sugar in drinks. Its not perfect (eg the bags used are different sizes) but that could be a point of discussion.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U

Friday, March 1, 2013

Math Links for Week Ending Mar 1, 2013

Here it is, the moment everyone has been waiting for. Yep, the next largest prime has been found and here is a visualization of its digits. Ain't it pretty?
Curriculum Tags: All

I love this self data stuff. Dan Meyer, I think, got his idea for collecting data about himself from Nicholas Felton. Nick collects data about his life. Very detailed info like how many coffees he drinks every year. But then he creates this annual report with detail graphs and data about the previous year. The reason I bring this up is because I think this would be kind of a neat project to do with a class. Have them collect data about themselves for a week and then create graphs of it.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U

One of my favourite blogs for differentiated instruction ideas in math is I Speak Math. I have been behind in her posts for a bit so this is a summary of some of the good ideas over the last few months
Zero! Card game - nice simple game that uses regular playing cards to add integers
Word Problem Equations - Even though she feels this needs work, its still a nice way to differentiate working with word problems. Read the comments for ideas on how to tweak it.
Monster Equations - a nice little tweak on solving simple equations. Perfect for introduction to equations
Homework Binder- some interesting ideas on how to get kids to do their homework and how to get them to complete it after the fact.
Math Workstations - A nice way to take worksheets and make them into math stations
Homework Choice - here is a nice way to get kids a bit more interested in homework and creating problems
Curriculum Tags: All

Here is a really good article about how people are bad at assessing risk. For example, he talks about the idea that a low probability event that gets repeated a lot actually has a relatively high chance of occurring. He uses the example of the possibility of slipping in the shower as something that has a low probability (say 1 in 1000) but the fact that you take thousands of showers in your lifetime almost makes it an eventuality.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U

Thinking Blocks is a website that has many applets that would be useful for elementary math teachers. Kind of similar to the Ministry of Ontario's ( It deals with things like multiplication, addition, fractions etc
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8

Here is a nice video of the geometric area property of Pythagorean Theorem. It was created by Macedonian students and apparently the song sung by the students is also about Pythagoras. Thanks to Carla Aquino for this one
Curriculum Tags: Gr8G, MFM1P, MPM1D, MFM2P, MPM2D

An another one about Pythagorean Theorem. This time from The Simpons. Here Homer makes the same mistake that the Scarecrow makes in The Wizard of Oz.
Curriculum Tags: Gr8G, MFM1P, MPM1D, MFM2P, MPM2D