Friday, May 29, 2015

Math Links for Week Ending May 29th, 2015

We have just posted a new activity on our Engaging Math blog. This one has students arrange various linear equations in order of steepness (to begin) and then it moves on from there. It's a great activity because it takes something that is typically mundane (rearranging equations) and turns it into something more game like.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM2P

You have heard me mention @marybourassa's daily warm up routine before (she blogs about them here and here) and here is another. I like this, not because it uses some of the same resources (Estimation 180, Would you Rather etc) but that it has a nice routine and a student hand out to keep up with that routine each day. Check it out here:
Curriculum Tags: All

And speaking of @marybourassa, she has posted a formal summary of her OAME session called Rethinking Math Class. Everything from Quadratic Headbandz, to warmups to WODB to a host of other activities that we did as a carousel. Even if you missed it there are lots of things her that you can pull from. Definitely check it out
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P, MPM2D, MFM2P, MCF3M, MBF3C, MCR3U, MHF4U, MCV4U

And along the same lines is this nice set of resource links that could be used as starting points or warmups in any math class. And if you haven't started following this blog, you should do so as it was born of the Math Twitter Blog-O-Sphere
Curriculum Tags: All

Another one from the MTBoS crew is this post on organizing your blog reading. I think this is a very important feature that anyone who reads blogs should heed. And on a related note Dan Meyer has a series of videos that are all about using various tools. He calls them Perplexity Tutorials. See the one below on Blogs and see the rest here.
Curriculum Tags: All

Andrew Stadel has blogged about questioning before and here is a followup post with sources for good questions to ask students.
Curriculum Tags: All

In the same vein as the Cheryl problem a few weeks ago, here is a old problem attributed to Einstein that also deals with logic. Given a bunch of criteria, you are to determine who has a fish as a pet (amongst 5 people). It reminds me a lot of the old game Sherlock which uses the same type of logical thinking.  Though this one seems to be a bit harder. Give it a try apparently only 2% of us can solve it.
Curriculum Tags: All

I saw this number sense activity as I was watching one of the Vsauce videos (below) and tried it out. I was disappointed that I wasn't at the top of the results. Maybe I don't have good number sense. The premiss is that you are shown an image of blue and yellow dots (for 600 ms each) and then have to decide which colour has the most. It's harder than it sounds (he said knowing that he didn't do well). Give it a try here and help them with their research.
Curriculum Tags: All

Eugenia Cheng likes food and math. So she brought them together in her new book How to Bake Pi. Here she talks about how she combines cooking and math on Science Friday
Curriculum Tags: All

I have mentioned DragonBox before as a good app to help teach algebra. Here is an article where the creator of the app states he doesn't like to associate the app with algebra. In fact, he says that it's about "speed and imagination" and not the speed associated with drill and kill but instead the speed he is referring to is the speed of learning.
Curriculum Tags: All

"I'm just not a Math Person" we have all heard it from students and parents (and teachers!). In this article from Wired, you might find some things to say when people confront you and say that ugly saying
Curriculum Tags: All

This is a neat exercise in combinatorics in the real world. Some neat ideas that might be worth discussing in a Data Management class.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

In this Vsauce video it starts off being about counting but actually moves into the idea of logarithms and approximations.
Curriculum Tags: MHF4U

I just stumbled on this site earlier this week and there is a lot of fun (and serious) stuff. Even though it's called Calculus Humour, it's not all about calculus.
Curriculum Tags: all

Friday, May 22, 2015

Math Links for Week Ending May 22nd, 2014

I had a lot going on this week (I am the main course designer and builder for this) so just a short set of links this week. Back in full force next week

If you have not seen Annie Fetter's Notice and Wonder video, then take a look below. It is probably one of the best Ignite sessions that I have ever seen. But in this post Annie features a very addictive game that is all about squares. Some might not call it "mathy" but it definitely requires the use of logic and the fact that there are no instructions means that students need to tinker and make mistakes and persevere. This also reminds me of Dan Meyer's talk about why math class should be more like video games. You should take the time to check it out because it is the real way to talk about making learning more like gaming and that doesn't mean Math Blasters.
Curriculum Tags: All

This is a really simple activity but I think it could be used in grade 7&8 talking about equations and formulas, in grade 9 wind dealing with linear equations, and even grade 11 when talking about function notation. The premiss is simple, write the day of the month as a function of the month number.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MFM1P, MPM1D, MCF3M, MCR3U

I like this activity from @MrOrr_Geek 's student teacher @misschacon_7 . We have tried to do something similar with paper bags (not in game form) and I like the idea of using the cups to hold the unknown because of the way that you can hide the unknown number of beads. . A very visual way of solving equations. 
Curriculum Tags: Gr8, MFM1P, MPM1D

Wanna be a billionaire? Then start with math. I love that this video starts with Zeno's Paradox.
Curriculum Tags: All

Some number sense from the Simpsons. "Those three choices (8,191, 8,128 and 8,208) are far from random. In fact, they represent a prime number (a number that has no positive divisors other than 1 and itself), a perfect number (whose divisors add up to itself), and a narcissistic number (where it is the sum of its own digits each raised to the power of the number of digits).". I think this would be ideal for practicing some number sense. Thanks to Mark Esping for this one.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8

Friday, May 15, 2015

Math Links for Week Ending May 15th, 2015

So last week at OAME I tweeted this out while working with @MrOrr_geek at @maryborassa's session.
We were working on this activity where we had to time ourselves building squares out of snap cubes and then predict how long it would take to make a 26x26 square. Well he said he was going to build it. And so he did with a three Act Task for it. Below is the 1st act. How long do you think it will take to make the entire thing.
Curriculum Tags: Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P, MPM2D, MFM2P
Speedy Squares Act 1 from Jon Orr on Vimeo.

Thanks to @mathletepearce and @MrOrr_geek we now know that Desmos can be used on EQAO. Or rather the Desmos Test Mode version of the app. Check out his blog post on the guidelines that students must use in order to use it.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P

I thought this was an interesting use of the measurement tools on Google Earth. Using them to find the perimeter and volume of the pyramids of Egypt. Check out the values.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P , MFM2P, MBF3C, MAP4C

Wanna win at games? Here is the mathematical strategy to win at 14 different games. There is a lot of good probability and combinatoric discussion here as well as some interesting data visualizations. Specifically I love the TicTacToe visualization from XKCD
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MAT1L, MAT2L, MBF3C, MDM4U, MAP4C

More data visualizations. This time using Legos to visualize the income differences in the US.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Not sure if vaccines work. How about this visualization about measles (and two more at the link)
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

The beautiful geometry of plants
Curriculum Tags: All

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Math Links for Week Ending May 8th, 2015

So this week was the annual OAME math conference and I just got back. I saw some great presentations from Ontario educators and thought I would feature many of them here. An entirely Ontario based Ontario Math links if you will. And if you want you can go to the OAME Wiki to see what people have uploaded from their sessions

Firstly we have posted a new activity on our blog. This one is a cool way to take the boring nature of solving equation worksheets and tweak them just a bit to make it more engaging. The idea is that we start with a continuum of questions that start (on the left) with easy questions, and then as the students answer the questions they move to the right on the continuum. And as an added bit, students check their answers using a "magic" UV light. We have an applied and academic version (slightly different questions. Check it out at the links below
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P

I saw a great session from @alexoverwijk and @jaberns on spiralling the grade 12 Advanced Functions curriculum. It seems like a daunting process but they gave access to the entire course (see link below) and showed us how the entire course is done with activities on vertical whiteboards. Seriously this resource is awesome.
Curriculum Tags: MHF4U

Next up was @Marian_Small. She was the Thursday keynote and spoke about teacher Mindset. And although she hasn't posted the slide deck for that one (yet?) there were some similar ideas in a talk I saw her give a few weeks ago in London which you can see here. In fact, you can see pdfs of most of here talks at her main site . But the thing I think I liked the most was her "view one, view two" idea of how teachers see the same thing in different ways. If you ever have the opportunity to see her speak, you should take it as her relaxed style and humour do a great job of making you comfortable while she challenges some of the ideas you hold dear. And while on her site, don't forget to check out her Good Question of the Week.
Curriculum Tags: All

Then I saw my buddy @mathletepearce and he talked about his 4-part lesson and how to bridge the gap between abstract and concrete representations in algebra. That being said, he started with a task that originally when I saw it when he posted it a few weeks ago, I kind of dismissed. But I quickly saw the light as he showed how students solved it using intuition and tinkering as opposed to algebra. The tinkering solutions turn out to be way less work and more elegant. Hopefully he will be posting his slide deck for more info on that.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P, MPM2D, MFM2P

Then I saw @MaryBourassa do a double session on pile of activities. From Quadratic Headbandz, Which One Doesn't Belong to combining functions with matching cards for Advanced functions. And she talked about the idea of warm-ups with her classes and shared her whole set. But one of the things I love is her daily diary of the goings on in her grade 10 applied class. Check out her blog for all the stuff.
Curriculum Tags: MFM2P, MPM2D, MHF4U, MCV4U

Now I didn't see @MrOrr_Geek present his double session on inquiry based lessons because I was presenting at the same time but I did get to hang out with him for a while. But I am sure that he did a fair bit on some of the 3Act tasks that he has been creating. For example, recently on his blog he did this on volume of a sphere. You can certainly get lost in all the great activities that he has shared on his blog so make sure you have some time when you go there.
Curriculum Tags: MFM1P

Also out this week from the Ministry's MathGains site is a Fraction Learning Pathways resource. It breaks down (with video, images and research) the fraction pathways from when kids start to complete the fraction curriculum. The image on the site is interactive so click around
Curriculum: All

Now although this is not a video, I thought I would share here. Myself and 15 others did what is called an Ignite session (including @MaryBourassa,  @mathletepearce,  @alexoverwijk,  @Marian_Small,  @AmyLin1962 ,  @MatthewOldridge , @MrSoclassroom ,  @DonFraser9 and @ddmeyer - sure he's not from Ontario but he's a stand up guy) An Ignite session is one where you get to pick any topic you want and get to talk for five minutes about it. The catch is that those five minutes have to be made up of exactly 20 slides that auto advance every 15 seconds. The topics included personal journeys suggestion for personal pd, Rubic's Cube math and more. I did mine on fun and obscure facts about Pi. You can see my entire slide deck below which includes what I actually said on each slide

We also did a session highlighting activities from our Engaging Math blog. The slides are below

Finally we showed off our home made Mindset shirts. They seemed to be a hit

And here are some shots from the Ignite session

Friday, May 1, 2015

Math Links for Week Ending May 1st, 2015

This is not necessarily a math video but there is something about the Smarter Everyday video that I really love. The general gist is about neuroplasticity and that as we age we become more rigid in our thinking. And the analogy is riding a bike. In this case a bike where the steering is backwards. The cool thing is about how long it took him to re learn how to ride this type of bike compared to his son.
Curriculum Tags: All

I like when I find activities that try to pull out student understanding. In this activity the topic of choice is trig ratios. That is, do kids understand the beyond just memorizing them. The other thing about this activity that is nice is that it also involves a lot of movement of kids from desk to desk as they change partners
Curriculum Tags: MPM2D, MFM2P

I love simple tweaks to make mundane things a bit more palatable. In this case, the mundane thing is factoring quadratics and the tweak is speed dating. I first heard of speed dating here but this is a really simple adaptation of it. Take a look for the downloads and instructions
Curriculum tags: MPM2D, MFM2P

And another activity pointed out by Mary at the Making Math Meaningful blog is a sorting activity from the Shell Centre dealing with quadratic polynomials. Expressions in words, algebraic, tabular and tile form ned to be matched up. Mary likes it so much she had two blog posts about it. Check them out here.
Curriculum Tags: MPM2D, MFM2P

I think this would be a nice problem for grade 7&8 students to work on to contribute to Number Sense. Students can use a lot of tinkering but if they are going to watch the solution then you might have to bring some grade 9 and 10 skills in (like substituting equations into equations) but it is still a question that keeps kids tinkering
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P, MPM2D, MFM2P

So Canadians love poop. Well maybe not poop, but the poop emoji. That according to the company that created the emoji's in the first place, Swiftkey. They have the data and they have now shared it. So if you want some stuff that your kids might be interested in then look no further. Thanks to @sadone for this one
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U