## 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
http://blog.desmos.com/post/142086213572/friday-five-for-march-32
http://blog.desmos.com/post/142477219864/friday-five-for-april-8
http://blog.desmos.com/post/143235991157/friday-five-for-april-22

Curriculum Tags: MCR3U
http://www.mrbartonmaths.com/blog/rationalise-the-denominator-guess-the-misconception/

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
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03qprk7

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
https://samjshah.com/2016/04/20/a-new-insight-on-the-famous-painted-block-problem/

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
http://mathtechtips.blogspot.ca/2016/04/gmath-handwriting-recognition.html

@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
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/princes-purple-reign-in-one-chart/

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
https://betterqs.wordpress.com/2016/04/27/an-interesting-area-puzzle/

## Friday, April 22, 2016

### Math Links for Week Ending Apr. 22nd, 2016

I made this quick online web sketch for students to practice measuring angles. Often when measuring angles student's are careless when placing the protractor or the read the wrong set of numbers. When you notice kids having this issue, this sketch will allow them to practice measuring angles until they are proficient.
Curriculum Tags: All
http://engaging-math.blogspot.ca/p/web-sketches.html

Having just shown some posts from @MrSoClassroom about coding and math, I found myself at @MrAspinall's site with more info about the connection of coding and math. Having just purchased a Sphero, this fit right in and you can really see the connections that he makes to geometry but I see even more connections to proportional reasoning when the kids are making the code. Else ware on the site you can see him connect using math to the "math wars" that are going on. Check it out.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8
http://brianaspinall.com/coding-can-help-with-math-war/
http://brianaspinall.com/exploring-geometry-by-coding-with-gosphero-tickleapp/

Do you need some help for your students with simple stats and organizing data? Try Furbles. Near as I can tell this is a commercial software but there is a link to a "lite" version here. But it seems like a nice resource you can do to introduce organizing data at any grade level. Thanks to @ColleenYoung for this one.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8
http://www.ptolemy.co.uk/project/furbles

I was reminded of Calculus the Musical this week. Check out their site for all sorts of goodies but here's a sample on the unit circle. And if you can ever see them live, it's pretty entertaining.
Curriculum Tags: MHF4U, MCV4U

And why not have another math related song, this time it's the fight between Math, Physics, Chemistry and Biology sung to a Star Wars theme.  Thanks to @dilasue4 for this one
Curriculum Tags: All

Seriously, someone logged everyone of Kobe Bryant's shots and made them searchable and dynamic.
Curriculum Tags: MBF3C, MDM4U
http://graphics.latimes.com/kobe-every-shot-ever/

Yup, more of the "genius" posts on Facebook. I hate these but always feel the need to point them out.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8

Nice animated gif on the generation of sinusoidal functions via a unit circle. I have done this before but it never occured to me to also include the tangent function.
Curriculum Tags: MCR3U

## Friday, April 15, 2016

### Math Links for Week Ending April 15th, 2016

Jo Boaler has a new paper touting the importance of visual representations in math class. And clarification that this is not just for those who struggle but all students benefit from seeing mathematics. The paper is available for the next couple of days via the link below. And also look at the other teacher and visual resources as well (later you will just need a free account on YouCubed to download them). The Internet was certainly a buzz with this announcement. And check out this visual summary made by @wheeler_laura
Curriculum Tags: All
https://www.youcubed.org/visual-math-network/

This is a pretty sweet (and nice and simple) Integer game from @mr_stadel. He got feedback and made some nice adjustments for the final version.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7
https://teacher.desmos.com/activitybuilder/custom/570a9b210ca1c9681f2dbb8d#
I found a new Twitter feed: @MathVineADay with some short (IE vine-like) videos of math related stuff.
Curriculum Tags: All
Last week @MrSoClassroom blogged about using coding in math class and had some examples of doing so with order of operations. This week he tweeted out some more code for doing the same
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8

Last week I was at the TVDSB STEAM conference and sat into a session on combining geometry and art via Mandalas by @MrsAdamsPJ &@TweetMrJamieson.. So I made this web sketch to show how that could be made dynamic. All their stuff can be found here.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8
http://engaging-math.blogspot.ca/p/web-sketches.html
After I posted that, @HarMath pointed out that it reminded him of Fraction Talks and so I made a Fraction Talks version.
Curriculum Tags: All
http://engaging-math.blogspot.ca/p/web-sketches
And I saw a few samples of this property of area of a trapezoid (see the above) and had this kicking around. So I finished it and posted it too.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7
http://engaging-math.blogspot.ca/p/web-sketches

The Math Wars continue to rage.  And in light of the new "math focus" of the Ministry of Ed here in Ontario, here are @rachelinch & @alexoverwijk on the CBC talking about having a more problem solving approach to math is better than just drill and kill
Curriculum Tags: All
http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2686398574

Listen to JoBoaler on Math, gender, mindsets and controversy in this radio interview
Curriculum Tags: All

And to continue with the Math Wars some points and counter points (some based on the above interview).
Curriculum Tags: All

Looking for a new math read. How about "My Search for Ramanujan: How I learned to Count". Read and excerpt here. Thanks to @stevenstrogatz for this one.
Curriculum Tags: All
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-i-learned-the-art-of-math-excerpt/
Check out this webinar from @DrCathyBruce & @ShelleyYearly on the importance of unit fractions
Curriculum Tags: All
I like using this trick when talking about calculating slope but I have not seen it done to this depth before.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P, MFM2P

I love the connection of the 3D fractals of the Menger Sponge to Pi in this @standupmaths video. Download the template yourself to make your own
Curriculum Tags: All
http://megamenger.com/

I love this animation of how when you combine simple linear motions you can get more complex motions. Reminds me a bit of this GSP sketch I made where I talk about combining velocity vectors to create circular motion.
Curriculum Tags: MCV4U
http://giphy.com/gifs/xThuWmo4PJs8dD53OM

I really love visual proofs. Especially if they show something very clearly.
Curriculum Tags: MPM2D, MFM2P
Nice series of animated gifs from @mathletepearce on dividing fractions
Curriculum Tags: Gr8

The back channel was super busy for the NCTM Annual conference. Looks like a lot of fun. To many to post here but you can see the stream at this link. So far my favourite was this one was this from the incoming NCTM President @mlarson_math
Curirculum Tags: All
Was reminded of this oldie too
Curriculum Tags: All
And then the follow up in the comment
Curriculum Tags: All

## Saturday, April 9, 2016

### Math Links for Week Ending April 8th, 2016

We just added a continuum activity for calculating rates of change via graphs to our blog. A continuum is a mechanism where students have the option to start at different places (based on their current ability) and the problem become gradually more difficult or complex. In this case the given information on the graph dwindles as they go through the levels. We have an analog version (with graphs printed on card stock) where kids check their answers with UV "magic" pens and an Explain Everything version if you have iPads.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P
http://engaging-math.blogspot.ca/2016/04/rate-of-change-continuum.html

Currently the @Desmos Des-Man activity is down for maintenance. But there are several others made with activity builder that have stepped up to take it's place. I saw @mathycathy's and loved how simple and to the point it was. But for grade 9 students in Ontario, they haven't seen inequalities or non linear functions yet. So, because you can now edit public Desmos activities now, I changed her's so it only expected students to use linear functions and gave them a little lesson on inequalities. It is so awesome not to have to start from scratch.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P, MFM2P
Original: https://teacher.desmos.com/activitybuilder/custom/....
Modified: https://teacher.desmos.com/activitybuilder/custom/....

Certainly coding is in vogue now. Too bad it has taken so long. Computer science has been in the curriculum for decades but we are now seeing quite a surge in it's uptake. I think that it is pretty easy to get kids into it if doing the right thing. Like for instance I was at the TVDSB STEAM conference today and saw a lot of cool coding activities. Stuff that made me want to keep hammering through the code. From programming an Arduino to light some LEDs or using Chitibitronics to create a circuit or my favourite, programming a Sphero to navigate a maze (see some of my code in this image and here are the results - listen to the math talk). The great thing about all of these is the amount of math that is needed to get the job done. In this case the coding is the reason to do the math and the reason to do the coding is moving this cool sphere. End result, kids are engaged. For more on that, including a neat idea to incorporate order of operations into coding is this recent post from @MrSoClassroom.
Curriculum Tags: All
http://mrsoclassroom.blogspot.ca/2016/04/using-coding-to-teach-mathematics.html

One things I always like that @ddmeyer does is take something that we see everyday in math class and tweak it ever so slightly to be so much better for students.  He takes this somewhat standard type math problem about exponential growth and asks as slightly different question to make it better. Check it out.
Curriculum Tags: MCR3U, MCT4C
http://blog.mrmeyer.com/2016/real-world-but-unnecessary/

With the recent movie Concussion about the issues of the NFL hiding or misrepresenting data about the rate of concussions occurring in the league. There is more info about the problems. In this article, there is some good info about the bias data collection methods that they employed.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

A topic that is near and dear to my heart is making sure that when you ask students questions, they have no ambiguity (unless that is part of your plan). This was a student solution posted to Reddit that most agree the student answered correctly based on what was asked. However, based on the teacher response, they clearly either did not see the ambiguity or were so inflexible that they denied the student the grades. When I see things like this I can't help but understand why some students who know math, think they don't
Curiculum Tags: All
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/04/05/pizza-math-problem_n_9617456.html

People know I'm a Desmos lover. Here it's getting some Internet love from one of them feel good "MindShift" articles. If you have been to this blog before then this is probably preaching to the choir but you might like to send it to friends you want to be Desmosfied. Just a thought
Curriculum Tags: All
http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/04/06/could-this-digital-math-tool-change-instruction-for-the-better/

I love these questions that are seemingly mysterious but then can be revealed by algebra. Click on this link to see it and solve it for yourself. Thanks to J. Paul Jakula for this one
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

Here's a great problem that could be used when talking about volume of cylinders. Thanks to Dan Meyer for this one
Curriculum Tags: Gr8, MFM1P, MPM1D