Tell your year 8 or 9 students this test is designed to test their ability to concentrate and use logic while doing a challenging test under pressure.

Tell students to circle the ‘correct’ answer. Then wait to see how long it takes them to think you have totally lost the plot! You can make copies of the test using the PDF links below. You can put the answers up later on the smart board.

Tell your year 8 or 9 students this test is designed to test their ability to concentrate and use logic while doing a challenging test under pressure.

Tell students to circle the ‘correct’ answer. Then wait to see how long it takes them to think you have totally lost the plot! You can make copies of the test using the PDF links below. You can put the answers up later on the smart board or just read out the answers.

The absolute delight of Spurious Correlationsis its craziness. Tyler Vigen is studying law at Harvard Law School, but he puts together the most ridiculous data you can imagine to show the correlation between eg. Per capita cheese consumption AND the number of people who died by getting tangled in their bed sheets, people who drowned after falling out of a fishing boat AND the marriage ration Kentucky. Of course, what Tyler is demonstrating is the basic maths principle, mathspiggies, that correlation is not causation. Here is one of his fabulous graphs:

Here is one graph from Spurious Correlati0ns (above) and the cover of Tyler’s New Book (below).

Math with Bad Drawings is run by Ben Orlin. He describes himself as ‘a math maths teacher in Birmingham, England. Before that, I taught in Oakland, California. I’ve taught (or am currently teaching!) every level of mathematics from ages 12 to 18.’

Not only is Ben’s humorous and fascinating take on maths interesting, his philosophy of life is worth a read too. e.g. We are all simultaneously experts and beginners, flaunting our talents while trying to cover our shortcomings the way an animal hides a wound.’

Here are two delightful examples of his maths with bad drawings:

Randall offers this warning to his KXCD blog: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors). Of course, this makes his blog even more interesting. Maths, profanity and silly humour. Bring it on.

How What if? blog asks and answers interesting questions:

What would happen if I dug straight down, at a speed of 1 foot per second? What would kill me first?

Could a bird deliver a standard 20″ New York-style cheese pizza in a box? And if so, what kind of bird would it take?

The joy of Yan’s One Minute Math blog is his eclectic collection of topics from . Kow-Cheong Yan is a Singapore-based teacher, math consultant, math blogger and maths book author (Grade 1- 6).

The Lighter Side of Innumeracy gives an insight into maths incompetence and superstition in Singapore. It shows that charlatans can still prey on the innumerate. And Yan’s critique of Drill-and-Kill texts promoted in Singapore is refreshing in an age where politicians are forever calling for Back-to-basics teaching methods for maths.

But my favourite post on Yan’s blog is;

Mathematical Fiction is not optional. The number of novels using maths as a theme is inspiring especially with Yan adding a comment like this:

If you’re looking for math, women, sex, and back-stabbing, The Wild Numbers (Philibert Schogt) is a math melodrama unlikely to disappoint.

Mathjokes4mathyfolks is run by my good math(s) friend Patrick Vennebush, who lives in Virginia with his wife, twin boys and his Golden Retriever Remy. He loves math(s), laughing and telling jokes. He also runs online projects for National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Patrick believes math(s) should be fun and his blog includes jokes, problems and real-life challenges. His collection of jokes is published in a book and cover the gamete from cool to Dad-style jokes. Here’s an example:

Angle of Opportunity looks at the angle a boy should pee in the toilet bowl without splatter fallout!!!!

Here is Math Fail on Facebook. And here is the Math Fail blog run by Self proclaimed Math Geek Mike, who explains that in addition to math fails, you will find a huge collection of geeky math jokes, interesting math facts, dumb math news, puzzles, speed math advice, math related comics, funny math pictures and more!! (It is not a Cheeseburger Fail blog.)

It is just a fun blog to explore. Here are some examples.

Who can be offended? They’re just numbers!!!!

Debbie O’Sullivan’s pinterest stream Math Puns/Jokes is worth a visit or two.

The Math Cartoons & Humor is pinterest run by Jiji the penguin. Actually, the penguin didn’t do it. Jiji the penguin is the mascot of STMath, a commercial education system that teaches math visually, and with minimum language, in the USA. Here are some examples of the humor:

Mashup Math is mind blowing from its math philosophy to its eclectic approach. Anthony Persico runs MashUp Math. He has taught in NY, VA, and CO and runs a YouTube channel. He believes in inclusive math education,that all students learn math differently and that the one-size-fits-all approach is ineffective. The worksheets, teacher resources supplied via mathmashup are FREE!

This is a screen shot of his roller coaster youtube clip on gradient or slope!!!

Here is his Mathsmashup You Tube channel (above), which is designed to help visual learners.

Here are some amazing sports stats (above) from the LA Times. Basketball Legend Kobe Bryant’s 30,699th and final field goal came from 19 feet with 31 seconds left against the Utah Jazz. This picture below shows every one of the 30,699 goals he scored. AMAAAAAAZING!

Math Antics Youtube Channel is run by, Rob and Jeremy, who are both funny and clear in their maths clips, which are directed mainly at Middle school. The youtube lessons are free, but Rob and Jeremy do charge teachers US$20 for a year of worksheets.

And now Mathspig has been cruising in her Hogmobile working out how far a car can travel on human fat. You will find interesting calculations here, here and here.

Ooooooh! I’ve got the munchies. I better go and make some more DIY bio-fuel.

Mathspig is soooooo excited. Melbourne singer, song writer and geometrically inclined performer Gotye performing with Kimbra won 3 Grammy Awards with last week for his song Somebody that I used to Know.

Here is Mathspig take on the song:

According to The Australian as of last Tuesday Gotye you tube clip had 375 million hits since it was first uploaded 5th July 2011.

Mini Rates Exercise:

In 18 months Somebody that I used ot know has scored 375 million hits. How many hits per minute?

(Ans: Assuming 30 days per month the no of hits per minute is 482)

Fun with Geometry Exercise:

Here’s Somebody that I used to know. Put on the music and do geometry especially triangles.

It’ll either help students do their exercises or work like Clockwork Orange and have them running screaming out of the room when they hear the first few notes.

Sometimes the muses look down upon Middle School Maths teachers and say ‘Gadzooks! …

…. those courageous purveyors of The mathematiques need a little help.

Shazam!’

And here it is.

ONE Direction … who Mathspig foolishly kept calling ONe Dimesnsion in a talk to 14 year olds last year … AHHHH!!!

Getting confused over rock star names is just, soooooo pathetic, like mum and dad.

But do One Direction know their maths? What do you think? Does this video make sense?

Or are they just number Tragics?

…………………………………………….

Weird Maths Activity

Play the video at the beginning of the class. Set the days work. Then at the end of the class, students have to sing their answers … clicking their fingers … One Direction style ….