Friday, April 26, 2013

Math Links for Week Ending Apr 26th, 2013

Get the Math has been around for a couple of years but when it first came out it only had a few activities. Not sure how I cam across it again but I see that it has expanded its content. The premiss is that it would highlight a real context that math was used and then build an interactive activity around it. So far they have fashion, music, video games, basketball, restaurants and special effects. With topics like ratio and rate, percents, plotting points, linear relations, quadratics and exponential relationships. Personally my favourite is the music activity with ratios and sampled beats. Very cool. Below is the intro video for that activity
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P, MFM2P, MPM2D, MCR3U, MCF3M, MBF3C, MAP4C, MCT4C

I have mixed feelings about the whole effort to make tutorial videos about doing math. Not so much about whether they are a good idea but more about the quality of what is out there. There are certainly large repositories (the Khan Academy) but its navigating those videos can be a problem. Phoenix College has tried to address that with this simple interface. Start with a topic and then that is further broken down into sub topics until you find the video you want. Thanks to Free Technology for Teachers for turning me on to this one.
Curriculum Tags: All

Download this free poster of colour coded trig identities from the Math Four site. A nice visual aid that you could print out for your grade 11 students.
Curriculum Tags: MCR3U, MCF3M, MHF4U

I like this simple experiment. Next time it snows (hopefully not soon), fill up a glas with it and estimate the amount of water when it melts. You could create all sorts of data when doing this and then use that to connect snow fall with regular precipitation.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MFM1P, MPM1D

Apparently the portion of the brain that is in charge of doing math is
localized to one area. At least that is what it seems a new research paper is saying. Read more here. Thanks to Mark Esping for this one.
Curriculum Tags: All

Friday, April 19, 2013

Math Links for Week Ending Apr 19th, 2013

I have been an XKCD fan for years and just found out that the creator has a new blog called What If? (Thanks to Michele Cooper for pointing this out) The premiss of the new blog is to
try to answer weird questions about physics. Some fantasy (How much force could Yoda output?) some based in some sort of reality (What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball travelling at 90% the speed of light?). But some are math based. He apparently puts a new one out every Tuesday. Here are the ones that I think are math based:
SAT Guessing -What if everyone guessed on the SATs. How many perfect scores would there be?
Droppings - If you went outside and lay down on your back with your mouth open, how long would you have to wait until a bird pooped in it?
Pennies - If you carried around a penny in your coin tray, how long would it take for that penny to cost you more than a cent in extra gas?
Twitter - How many unique English tweets are possible?
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Sometimes technology can be a problem. Especially when it lets you do calculations that are difficult to check. Here is a story about a widely used economics study that eventually was found to have a flaw in the Excel spreadsheet calculations. Could be a good conversation starter about calculating average. It comes from the NPR radio show Marketplace.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MDM4U

Here are a couple of pythagorean proofs that you could use to challenge some of your better kids
Curriculum Tags: Gr8, MPM1D

I kind of like this blog post about functions. Its a relatively simple intro to functions but I like the differer real life examples of functions machines.
Curriculum Tags: MCF3M, MCR3U

For baseball fans, we know there are a pile of stats that can be used in class out there. Here are some
from Albert Pujols that could be used for linear relations and extrapolation in grade 9
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P

I like the idea of this activity for dealing with surface area of irregular shapes. A prank where you cover an entire room with tin foil. How much would you need?
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P

Web2.0calc is an online scientific calculator that you can embed in your own websites and blogs. Download the widgets here (there are three versions)
Web 2.0 scientific calculator
Curriculum Tags: All

Here is a good activity where students are given choice in dealing with exponentials (in context).
Although it is not always flawless, giving students choices of contexts is a way to help foster some sort of engagement.
Curriculum Tags: MCF3M, MCR3U, MAP4C, MCT4C

Any time there is some talk of using good embedded formative assessment in math class is a good time as well as I am concerned. With references to Dylan Wiliam, this is a good place to start.
Curriculum Tags: All

In an Ignite talk, the speaker gives a 5 minute talk with a 20 page slideshow. They are meant to be really inspiring. Here is a link to a playlist with 64 of these talks.
And below is one of my favourites about Wondering and Noticing
Curriculum Tags: All

The first time I saw this animation was in the documentary Supersize Me. Its a great movie for any data management class to see. There are a lot of great displays of data in unique ways and it tells a good story.
Obesity Graph
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Friday, April 12, 2013

Math Links for Week Ending Apr 12th, 2013

Making decisions based on information known may not always be as easy as you think. Our current belief system can stand in the way of new knowledge due to our own biases. To help that let Bayes theorem step in. The go to theorem of probability kings especially when conditional probability is necessary. Find out more here.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Thanks to Liz Darocy for reminding me of the WSHS Rap video collection. Here is the latest instalment on graphing y = mx + b
Be sure to check out their other videos on their youtube channel
Curriculum Tags: MFM1D, MPM2P

Comparing incandescent to compact fluorescent bulbs gives a nice activity for systems of equations. Check it out here.
Curriculum Tags: MFM2D, MPM2P

I thought this was a neat activity that used stations for doing limits. I like the aspect of covering up the area in question as part of the activity
Curriculum Tags: MCV4U

I really like using tree diagrams for probability. Especially in gr 12 Data Management. Here is a site that has created a game using tree diagrams that would be perfect for any gr 12 class.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Even more stuff for Data Management. I like this simple twist on the outcomes when rolling two standard dice. This time with non standard faces.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

I thought it would be nice to have a category that highlighted a particularly good discussion on something in the math world of relevance. This first one comes from Dan Meyer comparing doing math  practice to training for wrestling (or any sport of your choice). There are opinions all over the block here starting with Dan's favourite whipping boy Sal Khan.
Curriculum Tags: All

Here is a nice commercial from Prudential that will help show the idea of what a dot plot is. 
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Some humorous pix here. Some you may have seen before. I have not seen the Kitten series before this though.
Curriculum Tags: All

Baseball season has started and what is baseball season without some stats on salaries. Here is a nice infographic of all of Major League Baseball. For a more interactive version of this check out Ben Fry's work. Here is his 2005 analysis (don't forget to move the slider to get the full effect). And don't forget to click to get the next few years analysis (up to 2010)
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Friday, April 5, 2013

Math Links for Week Ending Apr 5th, 2013

I really like the simplicity of the game Rock-Paper-Scissors for introducing probability concepts. Maybe its because its a game that is easily played and most kids have done so or maybe because of the allure of  the Rock Paper Scissors World Championships. And of course the natural extension of this is Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock. Watch Sheldon explain the rules of that below. The nice thing about both of those games is that all choices are equally likely to win. They are fair games (though the RPS society claims there are strategies that work). But I listened to an old episode of Radiolab on randomness called Stochasticity and then the follow up podcast called Are We Coins. And in that show they talked about the game Schnick-Schnack-Schnook where the variation is there is a 4th gesture called "Well". The scissors & rock both fall into the well but the paper covers the well. This introduces an element that means the game is no longer fair. So playing this game can be a great introduction to fairness in games.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3

Here is a nice set of data that could be used when talking about distributions in Data Management data
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

New activities from TI for the nSpire and TI-84. This time box plots& histograms, circle equations, exponential growth, parabolas and more.
Curriculum Tags, MPM2D, MCR3U, MCF3M, MBF3C, MAP4C, MDM4U

Last week I posted a picture of a tree root removed from the ground with the caption Square Root. Rather quickly Gregory Taylor sent the more correct image below. Thanks.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D

A fun cartoon for distributions
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Here is a very cool data visualization of the world population based on latitude and longitude. Thanks to Mark Esping for this one.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Perhaps a little late but here is a nice infographic about candy and Easter. Thanks to Mark Esping for this one.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U