Saturday, April 26, 2014

Math Links for Week Ending April 25th, 2014

I love this new activity from Desmos (with the help of Dan Meyer and Christopher Danielson) on rates of increase called Waterline. I recall many years ago creating an activity like this for calculus dealing with rates where we had different profiles of containers and had to predict the rate of water level increase given a constant rate of increase of volume. Back then it was static. Now we have the dynamics of the Desmos engine to make this activity dynamic. In the app you have to predict draw the graph of how you think height will vary and then check it agains what really happens. Nicely done. 
Curriculum Tags: MCV4U

In grade 7 this is the last time we formally talk about measuring angles and this activity from Exit 10a is a great way to consolidate that skill with students. I love the game aspect of this activity and if you gave students cards with an angle on each side then you could add a bit of strategy to the game. Thanks to Dan Meyer for this one.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7

I don't think you can get too elementary when talking about probability in any grade. Conversely, no matter how advanced your course may be in probability, it is good to be able to simplify things for them. To that end, here is a great activity for discussing the difference between experimental and theoretical probability. Thanks to Dan Meyer for this one.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U

And yet another Dan Meyer find on probability. This time its probability bingo. Roll two dice (with colours rather than numbers) and the card has all the possible outcomes on it. First one to fill their card wins. Its the perfect game to talk about outcomes, sample space and probability.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U

We have all done these types of questions: "you buy a widget that have a regular price of $45 but is on sale for 15% off. How much will you pay for this widget including tax" Boring, right? Instead how about make a game of it, like Fawn Nguyen did with this activity using shopping at Walmart (or any other chain. In the end the students have to get a total value that is closest to $500. Take a look here
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8

Here's a nice proportional reasoning (or possibly linear relationships) 3 Acts task from Tap Into Teen Minds. How many reams of paper does it take to get to the top? Take a look at the task and find out.
Curriculum Tags, Gr7 Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

Great examples of parabolic motion with these fountains on this video clip. Thanks to Joe Tatti for this one.
Curriculum Tags: MPM2D, MFM2P, MBF3C, MCF3M, MCR3U

Friday, April 18, 2014

Math Links for Week Ending April 18th, 2014

By now if you aren't following Dan Meyer then I don't know what you are waiting for. Dan was the keynote speaker at CUE this year and his talk was about using tech to fuel his perplexity. It's a great video and has tonne of great ideas. The tools he talks about are things like using an RSS reader (he and I both use Feedly), social book marking (he and I both use Delicious) and all kinds of other tools (Kyle at Tap into Teen Minds has also posts about using some of those tools and more here). You can see his website that created with resources on his talk here And although this is not necessarily related to using tech, here's a quote that I think says a lot about math teachers in general and why we may have a hard time connecting to students:
"I got into math teaching because I loved math. I needed no incentive to love math. Line up a whole bunch of problems, I'll do em. Attach your approval as my teacher and I'll do even more. But then they gave me students who, low and behold, don't love math like I do."
And to finish, in the end, he reveals the best tool that he has and that is math. Math is used to both create perplexity and to attack it. Nicely done.
Curriculum Tags: All

Having just read Nate Silver's "The Signal and the Noise" reminds me how important the idea of confidence interval is. Here is a nice resource on things that are important when calculating confidence intervals.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Hey, I really like this Speed Match game for low level vocabulary practice. I think kids would play it and learn a bit of vocabulary to boot. I say it's low level because, in general, memorizing formulas or definitions is just that, low on the cognitive scale. But having kids memorize facts is not necessarily a bad thing. You just can't make it the prime focus of your teaching curriculum. So this game is a great way that you can get that stuff done for kids. And it works on the iPad. You can create your own game and do so without creating an account too. And another one from Mathy Cathy is Kahoot which is an online MC game where speed is of the essence.

Here's a really neat little applet made with Geometer's Sketchpad and put online. Perfect for introducing periodic functions. And it works on the iPad as well
Curriculum Tags: MCF3M, MCR3U

Kyle at the Tap Into Teen Minds blog continues to catalogue all those 3 Act Math tasks being created around the web. He matches them up to curriculum (both common core and Ontario math) and usually adds his own worksheets and extras. This one is referencing one of Dan Meyer's from a couple of years ago and does a good job of dealing with rates of change. Click on the Access Math Task button to get Dan's original 3 Act task download and click on the Access Handouts button to get Kyle's handouts.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

Do you want to give your kids a good straightforward traditional math review of Calculus. Then look no further than this online primer course given by MIT professor Gilbert Strang. It is intended for high school students so feel free to share.
Curriculum Tags: MCV4U

Here's a really nice little intro to the idea of the Normal Curve. Thanks to Jordynne Lowe for this one.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Ok so this is mainly aimed at university Calculus students but it's still funny.
Curriculum Tags: MCV4U

I love this image of an hour glass that demonstrates Archimedes proof that the volume of a cylinder is the same as the volume of a sphere plus the volume of a cone (with height equal to the diameter of the sphere for both the cone and the cylinder)
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P

What is a little math if you can't include a little literacy. Yay for cross curricular images. 
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MFM1P, MPM1D

Friday, April 11, 2014

Math Links for Week Ending April 11th, 2014

I have been showing this example from Deborah Ball for about a year now. I really like how she really articulates what distinguishes a good math teacher from someone who just knows how to do math. The neat thing is she does it in front of the Michigan legislature. For a longer talk by Dr. Ball on this topic you can click here.
Curriculum Tags: All

I am fascinated by this Veronoi Diagram. Each dot represents an airport and the regions represent areas that are closest to that airport (compared to another airport). So the lines separating the regions represent places that are equidistant to the nearest airports. Its a really neat geometric property that could be adapted to the geometry units in grade 7&8 connecting to quadrilaterals. On the site the diagram is an interactive so that the entire globe's airports are mapped out. Thanks to @ddmeyer for this one.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8

I like it when concepts can be introduced in unique ways. Here Mathy Cathy does has an interesting way to introduce compound events in probability. A simple true and false test (with random answers). Kind of reminds me a bit of the March Madness contest but on a smaller scale.
Curriculum Tags: MBF3C, MDM4U

I like Kyle's Baby Beats 3 Acts task. Proportional reasoning is a topic that needs as many varying tasks to help students get a handle on it.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P

We have seen cell phone plan questions before. And they all have a little bit of the pseudo math thing going on. But this one takes a slightly different take. Instead the standard fixed monthly cost and then a per minute charge (which is typically not how a phone plan works anymore) it has the fixed cost and then the extra cost for more data. A little more realistic.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P, MFM2P

I am a sucker for raw data. On this site not only is there neat visualizations but they have all kinds of raw data. Check out this set on over 40,000 meteorites. Enjoy.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Speaking of data, who doesn't like sports data. This post does a great job of summarizing places you and your students can get sports data. Thanks to Free Technology for Teachers for this one.
Curriculum Tags: MBF3C, MDM4U, MAP4C

Another one from Free Technology for Teachers is about four sites for free graph paper (of many types): Imcompetech, Print Free Graph Paper, Math Drills, Gridzzly. Some other graph paper sites include Printable Paper, Math Worksheet, Dynamic Paper, Free Online Graph Paper, & Math Bits.
Curriculum Tags: All

I have been known to have a bit of heavy foot while driving. So it's ironic that I have been saying that speeding doesn't get you there much faster (in general). I even wrote a task about it about 10 years ago. You can download it here. But now you have the data to show you in what situations speeding could possibly pay off. Its a really great way to talk about rational functions.
Curriculum Tags: MCR3U

Lots of Articles this week. Here's one with our education minister talking about how we need to go back to basics. If she's on that bandwagon then I guess she doesn't get it.
Curriculum Tags: All

Not so much for intermediate and senior math but none the less the idea is still good. In terms of problem solving we don't tap into our youngest kids enough
Curriculum Tags: All

Here's an article on how women are using their training in STEM fields to create entirely new jobs
Curriculum Tags: All

This post about the statistical probability that global warming is happening (99.9%). But those deniers will then say "So there's a chance". Totally reminds me of this clip from Dumb and Dumber
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U

Who knew Cindy Crawford when to school for Chemical Engineering (I'm sure some did)? But listen to her talk about how she was on the wrong end of a stereotype from her calculus prof
Curriculum Tags: All

I was shopping with my daughter the other day and saw this sign for a sale. I like it because the implication is that it's a 60% discount but, in fact, the successive discounts work out to 52%. The math is all right on the sign but it would be a good discussion for grade 7&8 students about percents.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8

Some common thoughts about cancer that data shows is false
  1. Unless treated, cancer is fatal
  2. The earlier you diagnose and treat it the greater the chance of being cured
The article below talks about how those two are not necessarily true. As a hint, take a look at the graph below.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Some fun examples of bad math. I have seen some of these before but these two below I haven't
Curriculum Tags: All

Friday, April 4, 2014

Math Links for Week Ending April 4th, 2014

So for years and years I have been saying that there is tonnes of mathematics in digital animation. This has been mostly when I talk about vectors but finally someone who is actually in the animation biz (you might have heard of Pixar) explicitly makes the connection. Not to vectors but to grade 10 math and finding the midpoint of a line segment. This is an awesome video that answers the question when is this math ever used (note I didn't say "when are we ever gonna use this" since not everyone will become an animator). And as a bonus, since this is a TEDed talk, that means there are extra features like lessons and quizzes.
Curriculum Tags: MPM2D

I have been sitting on this one for a few weeks. And when I saw that a friend of mine really liked the concept and completely turned her on to QR codes I finally decided to put it in. The idea is that if you have a worksheet you can have a QR code for each question that links to the solution video. That is what they have done at Slackmath. They have taken videos online that answer questions and created worksheets from the questions. Although I wasn't particularly thrilled with some of the videos, I do like the concept. Take a look here. They have the worksheets broken down by topics so you can find what you are looking for
Curriculum Tags: All

This is an interesting problem (it may be a little tongue and cheek). But the idea is "how much is an art gallery worth". The calculation done basically puts a value on a painting and then calculates the interest that it would generate if it was turned into cash. Its highly idealized but it could be an interesting problem dealing with percents and number sense in grade 7,8 or 9
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

There is no end to people dissecting movies to talk about their realism. And SciFi movies get their share of the hits. This time dealing with the movie Pacific Rim and the frequency with which the monsters emerge from their watery birthplaces. In the movie talk about the exponential frequency that the monsters come but in practice they don't actually come that way. See the analysis here.
Curriculum Tags: MCR3U, MHF4U, MAP4C

Perhaps I have been waiting and waiting to finally have a reason to show a Monty Python clip in a math class. This may be it. I think you could easily make a really cool ratio problem out of it (trying to convert from one figure to another to determine the correct rate). The mathematical mayhem starts about 40 seconds in and then quickly degrades in to normal Python silliness.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

This Media Matters blog has some post dedicated specifically to how Fox News either deliberatly or stupidly use graphs. Here's the latest one and you can see a bunch more at the second link. Fox News actually admitted their error (to little fanfare)
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U

Here is the latest Function Dance move incarnation (and below it an older one)
Curriculum Tags: MCR3U, MHF4U