Friday, December 25, 2015

Math Links for Week Ending Dec. 26th, 2015

We have been adding some more activities to our Engaging Math blog. We had two similar tower challenge review activities for solving equations and algebra. There is one for grade 9 applied and one for grade 9 academic. The way the challenge works is that students are put in groups and answer questions to earn building pieces (spaghetti and marsh mallows) to eventually build the tallest tower.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P

We also published another I Have, Who Has. This time on solving simple equations. One of the many we have published on the site. This one is good for grade 7 up to grade 9. Take a look.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

And finally one last activity on equations. This one is for solving equations using the balance method. Students are given a set of cards and have to sort the into their proper order in order to solve the equation using the balance method. There are nine sets of cards to share around students.
Curriculum Tags: Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

A new data set on my Found Data blog. This time about the market in selling used gift cards. Some good data here that can be analyze via single or double variable methods plus it's kind of interesting to note that some gift cards actually sold for more than they were worth. And as a bonus feature there is a link to an article detailing how companies love gift cards because so often people don't spend all the money on the card (and thus is free money for them).
Curriculum Tags: MBF3C, MAP4C, MDM4U

I thought this was fun and the story is kind of fun too. The fact that this teacher has been keeping this game a secret but now finally shares it is neat. The game doesn't require any real difficult math but some good logic. It's a great game to be used as a treat (as this teacher did). The game is pretty simple to start off. You randomly (with cards) choose numbers to have students fill a 5x5 grid. It's how you place the numbers that will allow you to get the highest score. It's all in the placement then the adding. Look at the post for the details. Thanks to @ddmeyer for this one
Curriculum Tags: All

Following that post @marybourassa suggests that a 5x5 game could be made using logarithms instead. It's just a kernel of an idea but she could use your help. Give her your suggestions at the link below.
Curriculum Tags: MHF4U

Though this app is not available right now (and apparently won't be any time soon) it is used to turn the iPhone6 into a digital scale. What it does is use the pressure sensitive screen to translate the pressure into mass by using a linear relationship (more specifically a direct variation). It would be good to show students an example of how a linear relationship might be used in real life.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P, MDM4U, MAP4C

There is always discussion as to whether standardized tests are too hard and here is another one. There is a link to samples of the actual questions - which don't seem like overly crazy questions. Try them out yourself and agree or disagree at the link below
Curriculum Tags: MPM2D, MCR3U, MHF4U

Having given a couple of Ignite talks myself, I am a fan of them. I like this one from @roberkaplinski where he talks about the idea of productive struggle. Nothing specific to math here but instead general for all of teaching. I particularly like the bit about students complaining about "when are you going to teach us". Thanks to @andrewstadel for pointing this out on his post about Productive struggle. I like the Desmos activity he created to breach that subject with students
Curriculum Tags: All

This is a classic fallacy from Hillary Clinton. Here she claims she will only close schools that are below average. But of course, once you close those schools there will be a new average and thus always be schools below average.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U

Ok there is some great physics going on here about torque and centre of mass. Something you can apply to vectors. This statue weighs over 2000 lbs and is designed so that it can can be moved with a fingertip (since it is so well balanced). The video below is a visual of the CofM math but there is more info and video of them actually moving the thing on the link below.
Curriculum Tags: MCV4U

Well you can't have Christmas without some Christmas cheer. This time in the form of the graphical version of the song Deck the Halls.
Curriculum Tags: All
I got a couple of Math Shirts For Christmas
Curriculum Tags: MCR3U, MHF4U

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Math Links for Week Ending Dec. 18, 2015

I thought this web comic about math from @spikedmath was pretty neat. Especially the five posts on movie names created using mathematical notation. The one shown here is just the first one. How many can you get? But that is just the beginning. You can actually take the interactive quiz which will go through each movie (and if you want take you to each of the individual posts). Of course you might want to look at the other math based comics while there. Thanks to Mark Esping for this one.
Curriculum Tags: All
I've added a new post on Found Data. This one is about Movie ticket sales data. As it turns out this is a very rich set that you could use to teach the math of just about every data management topic. There are so many sources of data from these two websites (Box Office Mojo and The Numbers). And the extra bonus is that I think kids will be quite interested on some of the info.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MAP4C, MDM4U

We have been very busy on our Engaging Math blog after not posting anything on it in almost 2 months. First we posted four different I Have, Who Has card games. These games are good for quick reviews or warmup activities. None of them are brain busters (nor are they meant to be) but they can be a nice way to break up a class for 10 minutes. These four cover the topics of proportions, simplifying expressions, determining angles and solving equations. Check them out at the links below.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MFM1P, MPM1D

Another really simple and quick activity is a sorting activity for simplifying polynomial expressions including algebra tiles. It's not supposed to be a really long activity. Just quick and then move on.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P

Finally we have posted the first of several of these "Tower Challenges". These were activities that were based originally on a TIPS activity but that we have adapted for different grades and topics. This first one is a review of Number Sense and Algebra for Grade 9 Academic. The premiss is that students answer questions and as they do they accumulate building materials that they will eventually use to try to create the tallest tower. 
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D

Some great ideas from @wheeler_laura on making surface area a bit more tactile. This 3Act task styled activity has students starting with estimation and making physical models along the way.
Curriculum Tags: MFM2P

When you drain your pool, why not make it a 3Acts task. I like this one from @mathletepearce because at first when I glanced at it I just saw this as a simple rate of change question but I like the collection of data and the eventual extrapolation done here.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P, MDM4U, MAP4C

I like card sorting activities. So, of course, this one from @mathequalslove dealing with rational functions definitely caught my eye. Students have the questions and answers on cards and try to match them up. Anything to help kids get tricked into doing the math, the better.
Curriculum Tags: MCR3U

I think it is really important for humans to understand big numbers. One way to do that is to put them in a different perspective. I like this post from @topperlearning where they say things like "The DNA of an average person’s body can stretch from the Sun to Pluto and back 17 times." and other scientifically factual tidbits.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8

I have long believed that how phys-ed teachers conducted their classes was the way to go. Everyone had ways to be successful at their own level. In this post @matthewoldridge makes the same case and making connections to Jo Boaler's low floor, high ceiling idea along the way..
Curriculum Tags: All

This is an interesting essay on whether mathematics is even necessary. It takes many ideas that we hold to be true as math teachers and tries to debunk them. See if you agree. Thanks to @stevenstrogatz for this one
Curriculum Tags: All

New @Numberphile video. This was kind of neat because it incorporates things like factorization, powers of 10, hidden quadratics and more
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM2D

In general, there are so many "teaching math" videos out there but I really like the ones by @standupmaths. Perhaps because of his relaxed disposition or the depth he goes into the solutions, not sure. Anyway, here is his take on binomial coefficients
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

You gotta love the National Film Board of Canada. Some of the videos are so cool. This one is great for highlighting all things dealing with transformations of geometric figures. Thanks to @kjellstrom for this one.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8

Using Legos as a fraction manipulative. Thanks to @SCPSMathScience for this one
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MAT1L, MAT2L

We have all probably seen the Dancing functions image. Well now it exists as an animated gif. Thanks to Michael Lieff for this one.
Curriculum Tags: MCF3M, MCR3U, MHF4U, MCT4C

What a great animated gif of this sequence.
Curriculum Tags: MCR3U
I love this realization from @donfraser9. I wonder if anyone else noticed that stamps come in a ten frame?
Curriculum Tags: All

Though it does bother me that we are still two weeks away from 2016 and we are already seeing 2015 best of lists. But you still can't ignore the best data visualizations of the year. Check them all out at the link below
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Friday, December 11, 2015

Math Links for Week Ending Dec 11th, 2015

If you have been using Desmos then you already know about the Desmos Activity builder. A product that continues to get better and better. As people start to create those activities, Desmos has started to vet them and make them available via their search. There are many there now that span a bunch of topics and you can take any one of those and run it in your class by starting a new session. But you may not always like those activities the way they are and want to tweak them. Well you can now take any activity and create a duplicate that will allow you to edit any part of the activity or even add your own slides. Just click on any activity, then the Learn More button and then finally on Duplicate this Activity. Once again, Desmos has listened to the Internet and made what they have done even better.
Curriculum Tags: All

Last week I created this simple Desmos Activity with Nick Basic. It is not meant to be a very long activity but it's purpose is to introduce the concept of x and y intercepts.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM2P

When you look at the image of the algebra tiles to the right you might be surprised to find out that it was created with Desmos. @nathankraft1 used almost 150 lines of code (and some pretty complex ones) to model binomial multiplication/factoring. Just move the sliders and you can model any binomial multiplication in the form (ax + b)(cx + d). I can't imagine how many hours of coding that took but thankfully he took the time to do it. Thanks to @marybourassa for pointing this out.
Curriculum Tags: MPM2D, MFM2P

I have been adding some posts to my Found Data blog. The first one this week takes the data from the post on Boy Band lyrics. I actually mentioned this data set before but at that point you could only see the table of data. I have since transferred all of it to a Google Sheet so that you could create some bar graphs for analysis.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U

The second post was also from but this one is part of their interactive series. This one is a series of time based graphs on the last 8 years of popular keywords on the information site (that is from over 1.7 billion posts). The page will load random sets of search terms and create a comparative graph of them. The nice thing is that it will then give you the opportunity to download the CSV of the data.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MDM4U, MAP4C

Navigating all of the great resources being shared by teachers all over the web is becoming difficult with so many teachers actually sharing now. @MrOrr_Geek has create a bit of a tutorial of how to manage them via Twitter and Evernote as well as RSS feeds on Feedly. Take a look and get organized.
Curriculum Tags: All

And the "war" continues. Are facts or concepts more important in math class. The fact is that the war isn't really real. The reality is that both factual fluency and conceptual understanding are important and @mathletepearce discusses the nature of these things on this post.
Curriculum Tags: All

I was reminded of this Family Guy clip earlier this week. Fun despite the mention of a "ho"
Curriculum Tags: All

And maybe this poem about love and math
Curriculum Tags: All

Pretty cool visualizations of factoring here
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8

I really like this cool fraction task. The correct answers weren't straight forward and it did require you to really think about parts of a whole when the whole was irregularly shaped. Thanks to @MrSoClassroom for pointing out this one.
Curricuculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P
Gotta love this FoxTrot comic on the Fibonacci sequence.
Curriculum Tags: All
I love this bottle packing context for optimization. Very "Real World". Perfect when talking about why we might want to optimize
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P

I always love seeing this when I am flying across the country. Definitely could do some work area of composite shapes with this one. Thanks to @bkdidact for this one.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P
And of course what is a week of links without some sort of meme?
Curriculum Tags: MHF4U

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Math Links for Week Ending Dec. 4th, 2015

Just yesterday I was in a workshop where Gisele Jobin was discussing ways to approach systems of linear equations in a more concrete way. She did things with physical coins and bills in cans. We have always seen those problems, you know "you have 15 bills made of 5s and 10s and they total $105". But somehow having the physical bills (or coins) in a jar (they were fake coins and bills) that kids could verify their answers with made the problem more engaging and real for students. So then I see this post from @marybourassa where she has these mystery bags with candies in them and each group gets one bag and the only info she gives is how many total candies there are and how much each candy weighs. Students actually weigh each bag to get the total weight and away they go to figure out what is in their bag. Nicely done
Curriculum Tags: MFM2P, MPM2D

I have been pulling out old data sets for my new data blog. I really like this one on smoking and cancer. It's a great set to remind students that when comparing sets of data you should use similar scales.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U, MAP4C

Plinko is is a great way to demonstrate the binomial theorem. I love the video cuz I just want to tell them "drop it in the middle" but the results could also spark a good discussion about the nature of probability. And on this post there are some other good resources too. Thanks to Lindsay Novak for this one
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Hey it's December. So that means making some parabolic Christmas cards. Thanks to Michele Cooper for this one.
Curriculum Tags: MFM2P, MPM2D, MBF3C, MCF3M, MCR3U

This could be the best Barbie Bungee video I've seen yet. A 27 m drop from @jgibson314. Check the link out for a nice side image and links to some of the original activities
Curriculum Tags: Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P, MFM2P, MDM4U, MAP4C, MCT4C

And another Price as Right Plinko example. Thanks to David Brooks for this one
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Here are some visual representations of some data about food. I like when we represent data in different ways. Thanks to Eve Anderson for this one
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U

Want to do some linear relations with students, then maybe start with this commercial from GM. Thanks to pat hickson for this one
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P

Thanks to Facebook we have this kind of fun stuff to pass along
Curriculum Tags: All

As it always goes, there are lots of examples of data that come out whenever there is a mass shooting. This one piqued my interested because when I looked at it it seemed to be way to outrageous but as it turns out it's true. Check out the link for even more data analysis. Though be a bit cautious using this as the topic is sensitive.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U