Friday, June 26, 2015

Math Links for Week Ending June 26th, 2015

A couple of tasks from @mathletepearce dealing with direct and partial variation. The thing I like about these is that even though the context might be a little contrived ("Sir why not just measure one iPad at the beginning, man?") they are basically presented as a puzzle and way more interesting than just a table of values. And even though I think these fit the ideas of direct and partial variation pretty much right on the nose, I could definitely see doing this with grade 7 or 8 classes when talking about patterning (as an extension as the numbers are not whole numbers)
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

Mary at the Making Math Meaningfull blog has been presenting at the Exeter conference and has been posting stuff on her blog. Much of it she has posted before but on this one she talks about a marble rolling activity that can be used to model non linear relations. The premiss that students roll a marble down ramps of varying heights to see how far the marble will roll then use that data to make a prediction. Pretty simple but effective activity.Download the handout here and check out the post at the link below
Curriculum Tags: MPM2D, MFM2P

I love the fact that on the last day of classes @MrOrr_Geek had his students do their own estimation challenges (in the style of @Mr_Stadel). Check out this post where he has examples of their videos from filling containers to covering stuff with stickies and then creating Explain Everything files to document them
Curriculum Tags: All

And of course that means it's a good time to include a post from @Mr_Stadel on an activity he thought of (but hasn't tried) on how fast you can cover something with stickies. It covers rates and area (and possibly data collection and modelling). Check it out.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MFM1P, MPM1D

A couple of neat challenges from @DailyDesmos. Both of them use some of the advanced function notation features that allow you to use families of functions. One of them is linear and the other is periodic.

Curriculum Tags: MCR3U, MHF4U

 I always like videos that give examples of quadratic relations and those that show projectile motion are the funnest. Here you will see a truck jumping 200ft and there are some nice side views so if you wanted to you could do some modelling using something like Tracker or have a discussion similar to what Dan Meyer does here.
Curriculum Tags: MPM2D, MFM2P, MCR3U, MCF3M, MBF3C

My 12 year old daughter gave me a math-centric father's day card this year "
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P

Friday, June 19, 2015

Math Links for Week Ending June 19th, 2015

At the Tap Into Teen Minds blog, @mathletepearce has been doing some work with Knowledgehook and although I don't know if this is a direct result of that work but they have released their Gameshow app and it looks kind of cool. I especially like the fact that it is linked directly to Ontario (and other provinces) curriculum. It kind of works like Kahoot in that kids are answering MC questions, though one thing I like better about this compared to Kahoot is that there is more control over the timing of the questions. Here the timer doesn't even start until 75% of the students answer so that is a little less anxiety causing for those who freeze up when there is a time limit (they call that their Dynamic End Timer). But all the questions are linked directly to expectations and right now, for Ontario, they have questions for gr7-10 in math. Check it out.
Curriculum Tags: All

Though it's called the Most Controversial Facts in Math, they are less controversial but certainly neat. From The Monty Hall problem to Benford's law there are a lot of cool bits. Though mostly probability based, they are all fun
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

I love RowGames and it's always great when someone creates one and shares it. In this case it's two. One for distance between points and the other for the midpoint. A rowgame is when students are paired up and given the same worksheet with two columns of questions. One student does one column and the other does the second. The nice thing is that in each row, the answers for each column are the same. So this is a self checking worksheet. If the students get the same answer that means they did it correctly, if not then one or both made a mistake.
Curriculum Tags: MPM2D

Though the post claims this is about integers on a number line, I would argue they are whole numbers since we don't venture into the negatives. Regardless this is a pretty slick way to have students estimate on a number line and check their answers. The image doesn't do it justice. Go to the site and try it out.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8

 A lot of good info here from Jo Boaler on why students who memorize are the lowest achievers. Thanks to @MrSoClassroom for this one
Curriculum Tags: All

Though I can honestly say that I have never taught in my underwear, I am sure that some students might be ok with @PietroBosselli_ doing so. This math teacher is also a super model and you can read an interview with him from @AlexBellos. Honestly, I have to say my favourite part was when he gave an honest answer about being able to multiply 43x67 in his head:
"...not as quickly as people would usually expect. Somehow people who don’t do maths think that mathematicians spend their days calculating numbers in their head. Well, sorry to disappoint, maths goes a bit beyond addition and multiplication."
Check it out here
Curriculum Tags: All

I have always loved this proof. A cool way to connect infinity to algebra (and I think blow kid's minds).
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MFM1P, MPM1D

And here are the extras for the above video. This part probably has a more close relationship to calculus when you talk about infinitesimal sums and the limit of the sum of a series
Curriculum Tags: MCV4U

Here is a video that has an Olympic cyclist powering a toaster. Later in the video they compare how many of these cyclists would be needed to power different things. So this could be used as a good rate related question.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

I have been having some discussions with @mathletepearce about these types of Facebook posts that seem to be so appealing whereas if you just gave them to students as tables of values then they would be bland.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P, MPM2P, MPM2D

And so he made this one to try to do the same thing for solving equations
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P, MFM2P

Friday, June 12, 2015

Math Links for Week Ending June 12th, 2015

I like the stuff that @MrOrr_Geek has been doing with Explain Everything. His latest offering is a full lesson on parallel lines that starts with a video, has kids outside with chalk and then wraps up with a mini discovery type lesson on Explain Everything. When you go to his site you will see links to the intro video, sample student work and the downloadable Explain Everything activity file. If your kids have iPads then this is a great way to look at parallel lines.
Curriculum Tags: Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

I love this trigonometry matching activity from @marybourassa at the M3 blog. In short there are three sheets. One with triangles that have basic trig questions. The next three pages are one sheet of word problems, diagrams and answers that students have to match up based on the information given. This could easily be used when introducing trig for the first time in grade 10 or as a review in grade 11.
Curriculum Tags: MFM2P, MPM2D, MCR3U, MCF3M, MBF3C

Games are a good way of tricking students to do math. In this case the math is order of operations. Students are given sets of 4 numbers and the object is to put them together to create the number 24 as the answer.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

I am intrigued by the idea of an Interactive Note Book and on the Math = Love blog Sarah uses them a lot and I like some of the stuff within. Take for example this simple foldable that helps to identify the domain and range of a function.
Curriculum Tags: MCR3U, MCF3M, MHF4U

Another one from Math = Love. This time a compilation of found I Have, Who Has cards. A range of topics that you could fit into any course from grade 7 to grade 12. Take a look
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P, MAT2L, MPM2D, MFM2P, MCR3U, MCF3M, MBF3C, MAP4C, MCT4C, MHF4U

This is a simple app that relates to the relationship between the income of a family and whether the kids go to college. The nice thing about this is that it has you guess what the relationship is, then it shows you the answer and then it shows you a heat map of where everyone else has guessed. Good for any course that deals with linear scatter plots.
Curriculum Tags: MFM1P, MPM1D, MDM4U, MAP4C

I have mixed feelings about Kahoot. This is a game that you play with your students where MC questions are put up and students choose the correct answer on their device. They get points for choosing the correct answer and the number of points they get is inversely proportional to how long it takes them to answer (you might have played a similar trivia game in a bar). Now I like the competitive nature of this type of thing when it comes me but in a math class, with students, as soon as you put a time limit on questions, the best students probably love it but many students who struggle find that timer something that raises anxiety. So I have pretty much stayed away from this. But @mathycathy has turned me onto a feature that might make me rethink it. That is what they call ghost mode. In this case, you get to redo the same quiz and try to do better than you did before. There are some interesting applications of this on the Kahoots website here and you can see what Cathy has to say at the link below (including links to some of her own quizzes).
Curriculum Tags: All

I have loved all the stories I have heard about Paul Erdos. This guy loved math so much that it was literally all he did. He didn't own a house but instead just bunked in the homes of professors and other mathematicians. Well here is a children's book on his life during which he collaborated on over 500 papers. So many that there is a "club" that measures how closely you are related to Erdos by how many degrees of separation you are away from having worked directly with him. If you worked with him then your Erdos number is one. If you worked with someone who worked with Erdos then your number is 2 etc. And if you are really fanatical you might consider the idea of a Erdos-Bacon number.
Curriculum Tags: All

Using "tricks" to do math is slowly becoming a bit taboo as it doesn't promote conceptual understanding as well and favours memorization instead. Here's an article on "13 Rules that Expire" that is along the same line from the NCTM. Thanks to @mathletepearce for this one. For an online community that has also done work on this, try
Curriculum Tags: All

Here is a fun video from @joshsundquist. Another in the ".... for math nerds" series.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MAP4C, MDM4U

This one from @numberphile is kind of interesting (though you might not think it was). It's on how we read numbers. That is, the physical way we read numbers and what happens in our brains.
Curriculum Tags: All

Who said there isn't any money in writing textbooks. Check out the multimillion dollar home of the recently deceased James Stewart. He made his millions from writing calculus textbooks for universities and colleges. His house is up for sale now which he called the Integral House. Check out the images below and see how the house relates to math and read about the story before he died here. Thanks to Michele Cooper for this one.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Math Links for Week Ending June 5th, 2015

Not sure how I missed it when @Mr_Stadel posted it originally but thanks to him @jgibson314 and @jstevens009 we have a whole host of related  Barbie Zipline activities to choose from. I have done the Barbie Bungee activity before but this is a nice twist that you could relate to Pythagorean Theorem (and possibly quadratics).
Curriculum Tags: Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P, MPM2D, MFM2P, MCR3U, MCF3M, MBF3C

Here is a simple example of finding something seen in everyday life, a fast food coffee cup, and doing some math with it. In this case, are the various cup sizes similar. You could attach this to work on ratios or similarity which means you could apply the idea in classes from grade 7 to 10.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P, MPM2P, MPM2D

This is one of my favourite mathematical laws, and I won't ever miss a chance to promote it. Benford's law basically says that if you have a group of numbers that are all related by something (like salaries, populations or payments) then the first digits of all of those numbers won't actually be random. In fact there is a pattern. But most people think that that if you had a bunch of payments then they would all be random amounts. And this is how "cooking the books" is often caught. People make up what they think are random numbers when, in fact, they shouldn't be. Numberphile have had a few videos on it here, here and here too.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Here are some ideas for some number and logic games that have been around for over 1000 years.
Curriculum Tags: All

About 6% of the population suffer from dyscalculia (the mathematical counterpart to dyslexia). And here is an article about the disorder.
Curriculum Tags:All

He's been known as the Lady Gaga of mathematics. Check this out to find out why this current mathematician who is the author of Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure holds that moniker.
Curriculum Tags: All

It's been close to two weeks since John Nash died and with that, here is a math prof that has solved one of his well known problems
Curriculum Tags: All

Ok, I have always said this. When you get a group of non conformists together, they often look the same. And now apparently we have a mathematical proof of why that is. Tell that to your hipster friends.
Curriculum Tags: All

At first when I saw this activity, I thought "oh that looks so familiar" but it wasn't until I saw the tweet that was the inspiration that I saw the aha moment. Very nice. Check the whole thing out here
Curriculum Tags: MPM2D, MFM2P