Friday, November 29, 2013

Math Links for Week Ending Nov. 29, 2013

I am all for new tech. It is so hard to keep up with all of the new stuff. Now you may have heard of QR codes but the next step from QR codes is augmented reality. I wrote about the Layar app a year and a half ago if you want to see more on this idea. But now we have teachers using this app in class to exploit the technology in the room. See how Kyle Pearce is doing just that here:
Curriculum Tags: All

 After years of using algebra tiles, only very recently had I stumbled upon the fact that you could complete the square using algebra tiles. This stemmed from looking at the expectation from grade 10 academic course on completing the square: "by completing the square in situations involving no fractions, using a variety of tools". It was the "variety of tools" bit that caught my eye. Up until then I had not really known of any other method other than algebraically. But a quick search on the Interwebs came up with a host of videos on how to do it. And more recently the M^3 blog had a post on it so I guess that is a sign to put something here.
Curriculum Tags: MPM2D, MCR3U, MCF3M

Have you ever had a hard drive crash? Do you need a great context to refer to when dealing with cumulative probability? How about data from the failure rates of 25,000 hard drives. That is what Backblaze has published and is a great set of info. Among other stats, 22% of drives fail in the first four years of life. That is a 1 in 4 chance of failure. Excuse me but I think I need to go make a backup of my drive.
Curriculum Tags:MDM4U

What is a radian? Good questions. Take a look at the Continuous Everywhere blog to see how that discussion went in class. I like that he had a link to both the online Geogebra applet and a video on how it works.
Curriculum Tags: MHF4U
Also from Continuous Everywhere is a Trig War activity complete with worksheets to make the cards. Because the activity uses both radians and degrees it would be suitable for MHF4U but if you just use the degree cards you could easily use it with MCR3U or MCF3M
Curriculum Tags: MCF3M, MCR3U, MHF4U

I like to talk about knowing if a number is big in Data Management but you can also talk about big numbers in grade 7 number sense. I like this activity for getting a sense of millions, billions and trillions from the Let's Play Math blog.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, MDM4U

Friday, November 22, 2013

Math Links for Week Ending Nov. 22, 2013

A new portal to house resources for K-12 mathematics has just been released. is a site that houses resources for parents and students. Some are just another place to give light to things that have been around (Gap Closing, Homework Help etc) but there are also new applets available as well. Over the next few weeks I will be highlighting some of these apps. In the mean time you can look for yourself.
Curriculum Tags: All

I really like this post on modelling sinusoidal motion. Some interesting dialog about proper modelling situations. I like the idea about having students guess the graphs of height fro various situations. And I love the animated gif of the different shaped Ferris wheel.
Curriculum Tags: MCF3M, MCR3U

Its worth mentioning again, if only to point out that there was a slick redesign to the site. Take a look at the over 130 patterns (and even add your own).
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8

I am always looking for good data sets. If you are not familiar with the game show Deal or No Deal then I think you may have been living under a rock (ha ha). Its one of those shows that is easy to play and has versions all over the world. An added bonus is that its a treasure trove of probability based math. That being said the someone has collected information about the 215 episodes that have aired in Australia. Things like the case picked, the case with the biggest prize, the deal made and other anecdotal info. For more ways to analyze it take a look at the Learn and Teach Statistics Blog. To make things a bit easier on you I have also put the data in a CSV, Google Doc and a Fathom file.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

From the I Speak Math blog comes a great idea. Using games in math is a good idea. Here they have started to compile different games that could be used in a math class. Most of these can be adapted to any grade level. Maybe you have one you would like to add, you can edit the document and add it on your own. Have fun.
Curriculum Tags: All

Hey, what good is data if you can't use it to find Waldo? Well someone has looked at where Waldo has been and came up with a strategy for doing just that. Finding Waldo. Thanks to Mark Esping for this one
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Having difficulty in math is pretty commonplace. But sometimes we as teachers might not have an idea of what that is life (as a math teacher, likely you were good at math as a kid). Having that empathy is good for helping students through it. To get a sense of what having difficulty in math is like, try these simulations.

I really like this visual representation of the series 13 + 23 + 33 + ..... It really shows how a visualization can help you understand a situation. The neat thing about this is that it could be used in grade 7 or 8 patterning as well as grade 11 series. Thanks to the Lets Play Math Blog for this one.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MCF3M, MCR3U

Friday, November 15, 2013

Math Links for Week Ending Nov. 16th, 2013

Need some data? Who doesn't Numbeo is a site where you can get all manor of data sets. Cost of living, Crime, Price Indexes, Pollution and much more. Do you want to get real data for your classes? Then this is a great place to look. Thanks to Mike Lieff for this one
Curriculum Tags: MBF3C, MDM4U, MAP4C

I have recently heard a great distinction between adults who know how to do math and math teachers. To be a math teacher, you not only need to know math but you also have to be very good at deciphering the mistakes found in student work. Otherwise how else could we help them get better. "This site is about compiling, analyzing and discussing the mathematical errors that students make. Every day a new mistake is posted." Got an example you want to submit? Go ahead. And join the conversation.
Curriculum Tags: All

You have probably heard of the game Headbandz. If not, the premiss you wear a head band with a card on it that has an image or a word and your partner has to somehow get you to say what is on your head without saying the actual word. Well, how about doing that for properties of quadratics? Check out this blog post to see how. Thanks to Dan Meyer for pointing out this one.
Curriculum Tags: MFM2D, MBF3C

I was reminded of Census at School recently when talking to a teacher about grade 7 math. The Census at School program is an educational branch of Statistics Canada and its a great way to get a boat load of data from your students. You start by creating an account and setting your class up. Then you give your students the class code and they fill out a survey online (takes about 20 min) which has demographic questions, measurement questions (height, foot size etc), interest questions, school questions, tests for reaction time and logic etc). Then you can download the Excel file with all the data. The rest is up to you to create graphs of all type using their data. One of the other features is there are data sets that you can download of students from all over the world.

Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U, MAP4C

More data can be found from Scholastic's Kids USA survey. Data results from topics like families, censorship, sports, school uniforms and more. Thanks to Jody Barron for this one.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8

Are we born with number sense? A new study tries to study number sense in infants and how it relates to number sense when older. How do they do that? Its actually pretty neat. I am not convinced of how valid it is but it is neat. Check out the video in the link below. None the less, they seem to see that there is a correlation between an infants numeracy skills and their skills three years later.
Curriculum Tags: All

This is an awesome minds on for grade 8 math when talking about surface area and volume of a sphere. Could probably be used as a review in grade 9 applied math.
Curriculum Tags: Gr8, MPM1P

Friday, November 8, 2013

Math Links for Week Ending Nov. 9th, 2013

If you have ever taught distance time graphs you know that a common misconception that students have is that the graph represents going up or down a hill. David Wees has made a nice little app that could help to fight that problem. Too bad it doesn't work on the iPad. But its awesome that the stick figure guy is from XKCD. Thanks to @emergentmath for this one.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P, MFM2P

It may be a pay per use but its so cheap its undervalued. Mathalicous has some great lessons. Some are free to try but the majority are only available once you subscribe. So here is one of their sample lessons on health care that deals with expected value.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

I seemed to stumble on my sister site. The Ontario Math Wiki is a collaborative site where teachers can join and contribute to. Check the site out for literal tonnes of resources linked directly to the grade 7-12 Ontario math curriculum. And add your own links.
Curriculum Tags: All

PBS Math Club is a new YouTube channel where the videos link directly to math curriculum. Some are a bit cheesey and there aren't many videos right now but there is great potential here. Right now there are just a few videos on integers. Thanks to Free Technology for Teachers for this one.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8

Want to try problem based learning (PBL) but don't know where to start? Well @emergentmath has your answer. They have compiled a list of activities to start with. And even though one of these is a classic calculus problem, I think that all of the problems deal with grade 7 & 8 number sense (and maybe some data management).
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8

I totally love this video. Well, the video isn't that exciting but the concept is pretty cool. Its a 12 gear mechanism where the gears are set up so that when one gear rotates, the next gear will rotate 1/50th as fast. The last gear is connected to a cement block and due to the exponential nature of the system, will make one complete rotation in 2.3 trillion years! This is perfect for any course dealing with powers, or exponential functions.
Curriculum Tags: Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P, MCR3U, MCF3M, MAP4C, MCT4C

Want a way to introduce equations? Why not solve the equation "A picture is worth a 1000 words" for one word.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

Yay, combinatorics
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Friday, November 1, 2013

Math Links for Week Ending Nov. 1st, 2013

Spectacular visualization from the NBA. You choose the team and the player and see where they are hot and where they are not. They have also done some more detailed analysis of how entire teams do against each other that is pretty cool.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

I am always on the lookout for datasets for analysis. Did you know the wettest place in Canada is Henderson, BC? Or that the coldest place is Snag, Yukon? Here is data on weather extremes in Canada
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U

Correlation is often confused with causation. This is a problem when people believe that just because two variables are correlated that one of the variable's change is the cause of the other's. Here is a tutorial video on proving causation.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

A throwback to Felix Baumgartner's Redbull Stratos Jump from Explore Learning. A full three part lesson with links to specific Gizmos. Now the lesson basically focus on physics but I still contend that all of the metrics that were on the screen as he first rose in the capsule that could be used for a lesson on ratio, rate and speed. When it was happening I actually took some screen shots. You can download all 20 of them here.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

I thought this was a neat way to collect data. Play Mastermind and then do the analysis. In this case its done in a 4th grade class but this could easily be adapted to be done in a Data Management class when dealing with single variable statistics.

What is it like to be a mathematician?
Curriculum Tags: All

The myth of "I'm Bad at Math". A lot of discussion about this article on the Interwebs. Lots of people on both sides. Although the article doesn't mention it explicitly. The theory tends to be that many have what is called a fixed mindset rather than a growth mindset. That is, with a fixed mindset you think that you are born with a certain ability and that won't change. Whereas a growth mindset is when you believe that you can always continue to learn. Recent brain info seems to suggest that the growth mindset is supported. Check the following articles out for yourself.

That being said here is a counter point. Thanks to @mathtans for pointing this one out.

Here is some research to support the idea of how foster the growth model of learning

And to finish this topic off, let's hear about being a math major. I saw this a last week and forgot to put it in. Thanks to Sylvie Gava-Zompanti for reminding me of it.

Ha ha funny. From Vine (and on the Vine YouTube channel) here is a clip about nerd vandalism
Curriculum Tags: All

New from Vi Hart for Fractals and Logs. After I see her videos like this I think she should be ending with "See what I did there?"
Curriculum Tags: MHF4U

The Beauty of Mathematics in widescreen
Curriculum tags: All