Friday, August 29, 2014

Math Links for Week Ending Aug. 29, 2014

I really like this series of posts from Dan Meyer. The premiss is that we need to do a better job of developing what is going on in our math classes rather than just doling it out. And I don't think these are posts necessarily about Problem Based Learning (if that's your thang) but more about how (and why) you can tweak what you are doing so that it's a little more interactive for the kids
In my opinion though, I think one of the issues is that most of us got into teaching because we like to show people how to do stuff. So it's hard to switch gears and not be so explicit about everything (regardless of whether it's good for kids or not). Check out the series with the links below.
Curriculum Tags: All 

Note that there are a lot of links this week so I will probably be brief in my descriptions.

Which waffle is a better deal? This 3Acts combines rates, and area of a circle.
Curriculum Tags: Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

I like this 3Acts because I have tried to do this in my own home. The red light comes on in the fridge to say that the filter needs replacing but how it decides to come on is a mystery to me. Is it some sort of timing thing or is it actually measuring something in the filter to determine that the water isn't as clean. This 3 Acts uses extrapolation as the main tool but currently doesn't give a complete Act 3. We'll have to wait until he drinks more water.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P, MDM4U, MAP4C

Here is a nice little activity to help develop ideas of congruency. Students are given sets of shapes and asked whether they are the same or not the same (with explanation).
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8

In this task students are asked whether a pattern is linear or not. As it is laid out there would be some graphing involved so it connects best with grade 9 applied or academic but could also be extended to grade 10 or simplified for grade 7 or 8.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P, MPM2P, MFM2D

Understanding the difference between zero slope and undefined slope is important when learning this concept. Here is an activity that tries to address this issue.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM2P

I like encouraging activities in the grade 11 university course. This one is dealing with recursive sequences and using Skittles to do so. Fun and Nutritious :-)
Curriculum Tags: MCR3U

I always had trouble with random variables. Here are a series of videos to help with this. Check out the website link as well for more information.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U 

New research seems to show that we are born with an innate ability to understand simple probability. I wonder why that seems to change (ie why are lotteries so popular).
Curriculum Tags: All

Kyle at the Tap Into Teen Minds blog took the Ice Bucket Challenge and turned it into a 3Act task dealing with scatter plots and extrapolation. Check out the link below for all the videos in their individual form.
Curriculum Tags: MFM1P, MPM1D, MDM4U, MAP4C

With all of the hoopla about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (here's my attempt if you are interested) there have been a lot of people saying this or that about it and it's effectiveness. There is no denying that it has spiked donations to ALS but this infographic compares money raised with deaths by disease. Thanks to Michael Lieff for this one.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U

Friday, August 22, 2014

Math Links for Week Ending Aug 22nd, 2014

Though it may not be obvious at first, I think this new Numberphile video would be a perfect thing to show as an application of zeros of functions. Watch this video about how to use math to steady a wobbly table and see if you don't agree.
Curriculum Tags: MPM2D, MFM2P, MCR3U, MCF3M, MBF3C, MHF4U, MCV4U, MCT4C

At the Making Math Meaningful blog last semester @marybourassa took us through every day of her grade 10 applied course. She and her colleague @alexoverwijk developed a curriculum plan that intertwined (or spiralled as they say) all of the curriculum. They presented it at Twitter Math Camp, you can look at their Powerpt here. But check out the blog post below for a more detailed explanation and if you are teaching grade 10 applied then you might want to consider it.
Curriculum Tags: MFM2P

Some nice unit conversion resources (specifically metric - imperial) here from Mr. Stadel. Includes a 3Act task dealing with speed conversions. Good for ratios too. Check it out below.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, MFM1P, MFM2P

Teaching ratios? Then you probably may bring up the Golden Ratio. If so then why not wear your favourite jewelry?
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

Talking about outliers? Then here is an example relating to playing scrabble. In fact, relating to the best scrabble player in the world. Spoiler alert he's the outlier.
Curriculum Tags: Gr8, MDM4U, MAP4C

Even the NY Subway collects data. This time on what kinds of things have been left behind on the trains. Not surprisingly, cell phones are #1. But click on the link below and see the graph of the weird stuff too. None the less, some more graphs to include in any data management unit
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U

Friday, August 15, 2014

Math Links for Week Ending August 15th, 2014

I am a sucker for re tooling popular games for the math classroom @samjshah at the Continuous Everywhere blog has done just that with the game Headbanz by adapting it for Rational Functions. The game is simple. A player has a graph that they cannot see stuck to their foreheads. They then can ask other players questions about the graph. After asking questions they then have to guess the equation of the graph. With the graphs and equations here you could probably play the game with Grade 11 University students but it is probably more suited for Grade 12 Advanced functions students. Download the cards at the link below and have fun.
Curriculum Tags: MCR3U, MHF4U

I mentioned Central Park last week but here is the post from Desmos' blog just to be complete. As well as Dan Meyer's take on these "write an expression" problems. He helped design Central Park with Desmos so its worth a look too.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

If you are looking for a kinaesthetic activity to do with your kids that links to circumference of a circle, take a look at this one from @mr_stadel where he talks about making a circle with people. Perfect for getting those grade 8 kids up when doing the measurement unit.
Curriculum Tags: Gr8

Wow Dan Meyer is really going all out with this new animated 3Acts. Perfect for talking about optimizing surface area, volume or perimeter. Check out his post below about how to use this "dandy"
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

I got a birthday card like this the other day.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8

Friday, August 8, 2014

Math Links for Week Ending Aug. 8th, 2014

Something light because it's the summer. George Hart from a couple of years ago. Have fun linking your bagels. If you really want to link it to curriculum you could probably connect it to grade 8 or grade 9 with area of circles and then do some sort of investigation on how to measure the area after the cut.
Curriculum Tags: Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

I know this is US data but it is always good to have a data source to do some math with. This one is about the use of transit systems. Good for single variable analysis.
Curriculum Tags: MBF3C, MDM4U

This new video from Numberphile is about primes. That is not a new topic for them. The thing I like about this one is that it shows a neat algorithm that only works for primes. It requires the use of factorials which, technically, is not part of the elementary curriculum but it would be easy enough to introduce and would be a nice little exercise in computation.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MDM4U

And here's the extra proof at the end of the above video

And finally another video from Numberphile. This one is from a couple of months ago and I somehow missed it. It's on the fun topic of the Monty Hall Problem. As far as I am concerned, you can't have too many reminders of this one. It's a really fun problem to do in your classes when talking about probability and especially tree diagrams (and in MDM4U conditional probability).
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U
And there is more on the Monty Hall problem from Numberphile here with this playlist

Friday, August 1, 2014

Math Links for Week Ending Aug. 1st, 2014

Well this is the third year in a row that I missed Twitter Math Camp. If you don't know what it is then click here. But by all accounts it was awesome. You can see the Tweets with the hashtag #tmc14 here. Unfortunately for me it is even further away next year as it is in California.
Curriculum Tags: All

And speaking of TMC, @MaryBourassa gave me this great suggestion. Desmos has a new activity and as the kids say "it's Sick". The premiss is simple. you are creating parking spaces by painting lines. You have a given number of spots to create in a given amount of space keeping in mind that the actual line dividers for the spaces take up space as well. It may sound kinda lame but it is really well structured. It starts with estimation then moves to something more exact and then finally moves to generating an expression to represent the solution in the general case. It's all done in very dynamic nature that starts very visual and simple and works towards algebraic and more complex. The other part that I like is at the end of each section they ask a question and expect a written response. This is done in a neat way where they show some recent responses (not necessarily all correct) so the student has somewhere to start.

This would be a great way to show students the power of equations, variables and modelling in a way that takes them from real to abstract. This is part of a series of activities that Desmos has developed here where you can create a class online to do them with your own students. Anyway, give this parking activity a shot at the following link (click on the Walk through Central Park link)
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MFM1P, MPM1D

Asking students questions that will invoke thinking is sometimes tough. So it's always good when someone else does the heavy lifting for you. Here is a blog post that has all kinds of questions on topics like series, sequence, probability, statistics, functions, quadratics, polynomials, rationals, exponentials, logs and modelling. There is probably something here for just about ever math course. I think this also came out of the TMC14. Take a look
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P, MPM2D, MFM2P, MCR3U, MCF3M, MBF3C, MAP4C, MDM4U, MCT4C, MHF4U

I have seen versions of this in various places but it is worth mentioning it when ever it shows up. Graphing using humans on a grid you put on the floor is a nice kinaesthetic activity. Here is an outline of how to do it.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

I first heard about row games a few years ago from the F(t) blog. I have some that I have helped produce that I will be posting soon but here are some more that have already been created. I like these for two reasons. One, students work in pairs to complete a series of problems and two, they don't work on the same problems but instead work on their own column of problems but the answers for each question in each row match so that students can self check if they have the answer correct. That is, if they get the same answer as their partner in the same row then that means they both must have got it right. If they aren't the same answer then that means that one or both of them is wrong and they both have to work to see why.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P, MPM2D, MFM2P

I like how @thescamdog has summarized all of these assessment strategies. Pick the ones you like and go to town.
Curriculum Tags: All

Here is a great video from Numberphile on log tables. I like it because it gives a nice little primer on how calculations used to be done using the log tables. This would be good when teaching logarithms as it gives a nice application (though out dated) of the power of logs.
Curriculum Tags: MHF4U

This is the extension to the above video
Curriculum Tags: MHF4U

I have said more than once that I love stuff about randomness. And if you ever teach anything about probability then you should too. Here are a couple of related videos, the first from Vsauce talks about what random is.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U

The second video is from Varitasium and is about what is not random. Some things here you might find surprising.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U

Not sure if everyone needs this but here is a nice visualization that shows how many pairs of underwear you should pack on a trip.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MDM4U

A nice park that encourages math by incorporating mathematical concepts in the design
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8