Friday, October 21, 2016

Math Links for Week Ending Oct. 21, 2016

This sketch actually has been rattling in my head for a while and it took several versions to get to this state. But it is for kids to practice translating points. There are three stages, the first just let's students drag points to match the translation (which is probably even good for grade 6 students), then they have to type in the coordinates for the translations. Those two then will generate an infinite number of translations for students to do. The last sketch is an open sketch where students can create their own problem and solve it. The intent is that I will eventually have a series of sketches covering rotations, reflections and transformations. You can get both the websketch (which doesn't need any special software) or the original GSP sketch.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8

Any time you can trick kids into doing math problems by hiding a "worksheet", I think it's a good thing. And if you have someone who builds an activity and shares it out, even better. Here @theShaunCarter has created a game to help students practice finding the zeros of quadratics. The downloads are there so you can create your own set of cards. Note that depending on what course you are taking, you might have to pitch some cards. I like the fact that the game encourages factoring by having the game be: giving an x value and students checking if their expression equals zero (so having a factored expression is most efficient). And as an added bonus, he generated this cool tool to generate the x value they have to use.
Curriculum Tags: MPM2D, MFM2P, MCR3U, MCF3M, MBF3C

I like when you can take a statistical concept that often students only (usually) ever see as abstract and make it visual. Here @samjshah uses Geogebra to visualize the effects of changing data on the sum of the squares and the standard deviation of a small data set. Nicely done.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U, MAP4C

Here's a comparison of North American teaching styles versus Japanese styles. The premiss is that in Japan they have much better success by focussing on problem solving while we focus on just getting answers and memorizing algorithms. I tend to agree with this notion. I think it's a good read but it reminded me of this video from Phil Daro (which I know I have shared more than once here.
Curriculum Tags: All
Phil Daro - Against "Answer-Getting" from SERP MEDIA on Vimeo.

This could be a totally fun thing to do with just about any group of kids (provided you have enough pencils.
Curriculum Tags: All

I'm not sure how I missed this during the Olympics but I love this representation of every medal winner of the 100m in the modern olympics. Super for linear scatter plots. Check the site out for more cool visualizations of this data.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P, MDM4U, MAP4C

Here is a great way to incorporate poetry into your math class. How about a Fibonacci poem.
Curriculum Tags: All

Friday, October 14, 2016

Math Links for Week Ending Oct. 14th, 2016

I am a huge fan of @AlexOverwijk's deep lesson analysis. His crew at Glebe Collegiate clearly work together well. In this 5 day lesson they start with scavenged bike rims and start with circles and end with trig. He's got all the details in the post, do not miss it.
Curriculum Tags: MHF4U

I really like this adaptation of @iisanumber's by @SamJShah. The premiss is that students critique other student's work. One thing I like is that practice of students writing two positive things on the front of the post it and some things to work on on the back. This could easily be adapted for any topic or grade level. Check out both posts below.
Curriculum Tags: All

This is old but damn I love a good extreme sports stunt to reveal some parabolic mathematics
Curriculum Tags: MFM2P, MPM2D, MBF3C, MCR3U, MCF3M

And the strobe image of the above video
Curriculum Tags: MFM2P, MPM2D, MBF3C, MCR3U, MCF3M

Math and Knitting? Why not? Some pretty cool stuff here. Thanks to @AlexBellos for pointing these out.
Curriculum Tags: All

These show up on Facebook all the time with the tag line "only for geniuses". I like this one though because it is almost entirely symbolic.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P
I like problems like this. Ones that at first glance seem like they might require some complicated math to solve but with some good problem solving and spatial reasoning, it's totally solvable. I think you could probably give this to students in just about any grade and someone could solve it.
Curriculum Tags: All

Friday, October 7, 2016

Math Links for Week Ending Oct. 7th, 2016

 Flipping Bottles!! The summer's fad was Pokemon Go! and now it seems to be flipping bottles. First @ddmeyer has a false start with a 3Act task attempt but then bails on it and asks for suggestions on how to make a useful math task out of it. In the comments, the best suggestions (IMHO) were those that were about experimenting with the bottle fill level and success rate. And then he comes back with the data to show that's the way to go. Then @MrOrr_Geek takes a similar tack and has his students starting with guesses as to the optimum bottle level and eventually get to using volume and rates to predict the number of successes given a certain amount of bottle flipping time. He makes a game of it and the kids are flipping out.
Curriculum Tags: MFM1P, MPM1D, MDM4U, MAP4C

The folks at @desmos have been hard at work adding layers to their activities and teasing some of them out on the Twitters. They've just released one of these activities. In Ontario we don't do much with inequalities (a little in MHF4U) but this is a really nice little way to get kids to understand the idea behind the in a game like format.
Curriculum Tags: MHF4U

There is never enough work that we can do with rates with students. In this post @robertkaplinsky combines buying in bulk and coupons to have student working out the deal that they think is the best with these carrots.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8 MPM1D, MFM1P

@mathycathy keeps pushing out the Desmos activities. This time by combining a Which One Doesn't Belong and a Card Sort in dealing with linear equations. I like the fact that these are not very long and would be used to look at a very precise thing then letting you, presumably, move on.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P

I like hands on activities for students to do when they are learning a new concept and in grade 10 students are supposed to explore the development of trig ratios. So the place to start is with similar triangles. In this activity @Wheeler_Laura does some hands on coupled with some Pear Deck work. Check out all the downloads on her post.
Curriculum Tags: MPM2D, MFM2P

 Giving students the means to do better in math can be elusive. So it means we may need to try different things. In this case, it's by teaching kids empathy
Curriculum Tags: All
OK, so I know this isn't a video but it's a podcast on collection of data on bears in the wild. I thought it was interesting how the mechanics are all done and how the data is used. Listen here
Curriculum Tags: MBF3C, MDM4U, MAP4C

When you are looking at data it's always good to show students stuff that might be interesting to them and stuff that might be analyzed in an interesting way. At Five Thirty Eight they often analyze Movie data by groupings. In this case, the four types of Marky Mark films
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U, MAP4C

Friday, September 30, 2016

Math Links for Week Ending Sept 29th, 2016

If you like the idea of letting students notice and wonder then you will probably like this site from @jennifuhs4. I know I liked it as soon as I saw the tag line "Always Question the Man". What you will find is a bunch of scenarios where students are given an image and asked what they wonder and then a related image to have them question what they see. Most of them deal with the idea of being a smart consumer but there will be some data management and proportional reasoning in there as well.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

You know I often dismiss Pentominoes but in this post @MrOrr_Geek has an awesome activity that starts out with kids solving "puzzles" and then works it's way to solving equations. He provides activities that start with hands on paper and pencil and then moves to an Explain Everything file and Desmos activity. Even if you don't have the technology, you could still do most of this with paper and pencil and some photocopies of some hundreds charts. I think when you are having your students solve equations, in the beginning, you want to give them a reason to want to solve the equations. This activity, I think, does a good job in getting them there.
Curriculum Tags: Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

I really think @ddmeyer is just showing off. That is, he keeps posting these Desmos activities that have these features that only the Desmos staff can use. Well, here's the latest one. It's an #OpenMiddle task for solving equations. It's relatively simple and you could actually do it with paper and pencil but the self checking features would make this work relatively nicely by using this Desmos version. The basic premiss that students choose four numbers and then those numbers are used to generate an equation they have to solve. The challenge then becomes to generate an equation that has a solution that is closest to zero.
Curriculum Tags: Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P, MFM2P

I was in a session this week about the Ontario Renewed Math Strategy and part of it was a presentation from Assistant Deputy Minister @CathyMontreuil. I loved that she paraphrased this quote from Seymour Papert about how students don't shy away from challenge but that we often are too boring for them in school so they are not interested in the challenge but that video game manufacturers have figured out the right formula. He is not with us anymore but for more on what he thinks abour technology, see his website
Curriculum Tags: All

The EQAO marks for the province came out last week and the big news is the drop in scores for grade 6 students. Despite the fact that many of the media stories get the data wrong (they often say that 50% of students are failing - it's actually 50% of students that are reaching provincial standard - essentially a mark of 70%), there were some boards that did well. Here @MarkChubb3 breaks down how his board did it. It's a good read. Spoiler alert, it takes time.
Curriculum Tags:All

How fast can you clap? Watch the first act video that @mathletepearce modified from @nathankraft1 original (he blacked out the clap count at first). Have some contests in your own class and talk about proportional reasoning at the same time.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MAT1L, MAT2L, MPM1D, MFM1P, MFM2P

I always like these images from @JessicaHagy on her Indexed blog. I always think they can be used to help students understand the nature of plotting points on graphs by asking them where people with certain characteristics will be on the graph or why the shape of the graphs fit the descriptions. Here's a couple that you could use either when talking about linear relationships or quadratic ones.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P, MFM2P

Friday, September 23, 2016

Math Links for Week Ending Sept 23, 2016

It took me a while to finally put this post together but I finished it this week. I played Pokemon Go all summer with my kids and, as it turns out, there is a lot of data that can be pulled out to use in class. From single variable to scatter plots. In this post I let you know where the data is and how you can mine it with your kids. There are some sample sets already if you want where you can get started and Google forms to help you collect your own.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MAP4C, MDM4U
A couple of support posts from the Desmos team. First a guide to creating Desmos activities. But it's not the kind of guide you might be used to. When you hear "guide" you might think that this is a technical "how to" but it actually is a pedagogical how to. They give tips on how to make your activities good for students. Totally worth a read. Secondly, they continue tweak and add features to activity builder. New is their Classroom Conversion Toolkit. The anonymizer feature has been around but now there is a tool to adjust the pace of the class so kids can't go too fast as well as a tool to pause the entire class. Man, if you are not using Desmos, what is holding you up?
Curriculum Tags: All

We may have all played Two Truths and a Lie so why not apply it to just about any topic in math class. In this case @mathequalslove does so for significant figures. This is really good for just about any topic that is basic and boring but we need kids to practice. 
Curriculum Tags: All

I love this post from @mathycathy. She starts with an example of a "teaching video" where the topic is zero exponents and all they basically do is tell students the rule and call it "magic". She is rightfully upset but exacts her revenge the MTBoS way by creating a simple Desmos activity that allows students to discover the properties of the zero exponent and finishes with a card sort.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM2P

A few weeks ago I mentioned that @robertkaplinski started a movement using the hashtag #ObserveMe. Now he is offering some troubleshooting tips for when it doesn't go as you had planned.
Curriculum Tags: All

I love this term "mathematical zombies". The idea is summed up best with this quote:
"Students who can reproduce all the steps of a problem while failing to evidence any understanding of why or how their procedures work."
Dan goes on to use the calculation of z-scores to follow through with an example of an extreme case. But the point is that it is pretty easy to have kids do mechanical calculations but if we don't want to create these zombies, we need to do something much different from what many of us received as students.
Curriculum Tags: All

Call it performance art if you will but the cool thing here is that they are going to create a massive image from pixels coloured by hand using the idea that each pixel uses different intensities of red, blue and green. For one you certainly could do a lesson on how these three colours mix to make all others but you could also use it to connect to percentages.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8

Here is the new and old version of the "how popular is your birthday" visualization. Regardless of the one you use, it does give you a false impression that some birthdays are way more popular than others. Regardless of which you like, here you can get the data collected and an interactive graph.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

Some nice examples of transformations from @mrhonner
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8