Friday, April 29, 2016

Math Links for Week Ending April 29th, 2016

The community of teachers sharing their Desmos activities is growing and it is totally redundant for me to point these out but, seriously, you should be following the Desmos blog for their "Friday Five". Almost each week they highlight five activities that teachers have shared that they see something good in. There is some great stuff in the last few weeks for calculus, distributive property (I love the graphical nature of this one), gamifying linear relationships, dynamic mean & median, parallel lines & transversals (a nice use of Desmos for something non equation related), some fun function stuff with @MrOrr_Geek's Target practice activity, connecting cricket chirps and temperature, scatterplots and regression, fractions on a number line and parabola matching (I love that they pointed out that not all the images are parabolas) and more
Curriculum Tags: All

I really like this way of looking at MC questions. Ask students which mistakes would have had to have been made for the wrong answers. Of course this implies that they are good MC questions. By a good MC question, I am talking about one where the wrong answers are based on misconceptions and not just throw away answers. That is the only way that a MC is worthwhile to ask. Because then you know they just haven't "gamed the system" to get the correct answer by just being a good test taker and not necessarily knowing the math. In this case they are a little more specific. They are asking what is the "most common misconception". You can put your vote in at the link below and see the results.
Curriculum Tags: MCR3U

Everything has to start somewhere. And even things that are so common have a beginning. In this case it's the story of where the idea of "average" came from. You can listen to this 10 min story on the origins of average by the BBC radio Show More or Less and wow your students with anecdotal info about mathematics.
Curriculum Tags: All

I love when we see connections to problems that we have not seen before. In this post @samjshah makes the connection between the classic "painted cube" problem and the binomial theorem. I love the use of the different colour snap cubes to indicate the cubes with different numbers of sides "painted".
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

I have mentioned the the site Open Middle before. This site was inspired by something @ddmeyer spoke of and spearheaded by @roberKaplinski, @Math_m_Addicts and @Anderson02B to collect problems that have a set beginning & ending but the pathway from one to the other was varied (ie Open Middle). In this post @Mr_Stadel points out a neat technique via Google Sheets to facilitate students taking an open middle problem and sharing their solution but also verifying other groups solutions.
Curriculum Tags: All

Another Google doc math related item is the plug in Gmath which now has handwriting recognition. So entering equations is potentially much easier now (though to be super useful you need a device with a touch screen). Thanks to @joeSisco for pointing out this one
Curriculum Tags: All

@ddmeyer has popularized the idea of a 3Act Task. In this post @mathletepearce talks about why he thinks they are so good. The one point that resonated with me the most was the fact that they typically are low floor, high ceiling tasks that are good for all students.
Curriculum Tags: All

Near as I can tell at the NCTM annual conference this year the there was a secondary mini conference called ShadowCon. My thinking was that this was kind of like an Ignite session without some of the constraints of slide progression. None the less, there were some interesting talks that weren't all directly related to Math. Here is a link to some of them. Some just have slide decks like being good at math (by @KanekaTurner) or becoming a better story teller (by @gfletchy) while others include a video of the talk like this one on Empowerment from @RobertKaplinski. And all of them seemed to have some "Call to action" afterwards via discussion board. For example, see Robert's final slide below. You can enter the discussion on any of these so follow the link to check them out.
Curriculum Tags: All

Apparently there is a competition in the UK called Famelab where contestants vie for a chance to be the clearest explainer of a scientific topic. Here @kyledevans explains why loving a person exponentially more each day is actually not the most desireable mathematically. Spoiler alert, the best way is to do so logarithmically. Watch here to find out why
Curriculum Tags: MHF4U, MCV4U

Sometimes a simple tweak is all that is needed to make things more interesting for students. In this case it's changing "justify your answer" to "convince me". Thanks to @matthewOldridge for this one
Curriculum Tags: All

We lost Prince this week and so Five Thirty Eight created a graphic to represent his work
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MAP4C, MDM4U

Although I never agree with the way these are asked (in this case the post said "only 1 in 1000 will get this"). I do like the actual question in this case where it kind of leans towards linear relationships.
Curriculum Tags: MFM1P, MPM1D

Here's a fun geometry animated gif
Curriculum Tags: MCF3M, MCR3U, MCT4C

A neat question highlighted by the Better Questions blog. I like the discussion about how easily you may or may not see the path to the solution. It is interesting how just changing that diagonal orientation changes the difficulty
Curriculum Tags: Gr8

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