Posts Tagged ‘back to school’

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8. When will I EVER use this maths?

August 19, 2017

The Complaint: I’ll Never Use This Maths!………………

………………………………………………………………………….

The Cause:

Text book exercises that are good for skill building, but appear irrelevant to the real world.

………………………………………………………………………….

The Solution:

You are going to use this maths NOW

………………………………………………………………………….

8a. Calculate Your Daily Iron Intake

8b. How much blood can YOU lose and survive?  

METRIC………………………………………………………………..

USA Units………………………………………………………..

8c. What Volume of Alcohol is Lethal?

 

 

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8a. Calculate Your Daily Iron Intake

August 19, 2017

The Complaint

8a: When will I EVER use this maths?

The Cause:

Students doing repetitive text book exercises without using maths to solve REAL WORLD problems.

The Solution:

You are going to use this maths NOW.

Calculate Your Daily Iron Intake

TOPICS: Decimals, %, weight units (METRIC) 

Some information you need. 

Iron (Chemical symbol:Fe) content in food is recorded in mg because there are only small amounts of iron in food.

1 g = 1000 mg

eg. 1 paper clip = 0.5 g = 500 mg

     Iron in 2 teaspoon peanut butter = 0.19 mg

Full Page Worksheet PDF:Daily Iron Intake Calculation Work Sheet

WORKED EXAMPLE: Breakfast

More info here

 

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10. They’re Always Giving Us New Stuff: BUSTED

August 8, 2017

The Complaint:

10. They’re always giving us new stuff.

The Cause:

Maths does have new topics, but not that often. Maths tends to go over and over old topics before adding new material. Students can feel overwhelmed simply because they are not paying attention. They are talking, texting, complaining, graffiting …etc. (See below)

Every day is like the reverse of Groundhog Day. Everything looks new again … new again … new again because they didn’t learn anything yesterday.

Here is the challenge for students: I Dare You To Watch This Entire Video

Really. Can students make it through this video without talking, texting, annoying someone ….? The video is funny and too true.

Video Link here

The Solution:

Start paying attention. Maths will make more sense.

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8. Funky, Fab and Fantastic. Yeah! That’s Middle School Maths.

August 26, 2016

Mathspig Funky, fab & Fantastic 8

Funky, Fab and Fantastic INTRO

One reason why students think maths is a waste of time is because they do not see it in their world. It’s not just middle school students. We are all maths blind.

Here is the challenge. At the beginning of your next maths class:

Ask your students what ‘mathsy’ thing they have on them and see what happens. Mathspig started her ICME 13 Workshop with that question and maths teachers from around the world struggled to answer. Here is what happened.

More ideas below.

maths-blind-logo

Note: I missed the significance of ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants’ Quote. It was from the great mathematician Sir Isaac Newton, 1776.

More Maths on or around you: 

*food snacks: nutrition information, calories, cost.

*medication: recommended dose, concentration eg. 5 mg, quantity, cost.

*room temperature: weather forecast.

*Light Bulbs: Watts, brightness (lumens, inverse quadratic function)

*Flooring: Wood (parallel lines), carpet (tessellations), coefficient of friction (Don’t want people to slip in the wet).

*Windows, doors: Hinges (Fulcrum, Effort as a Hyperbolic function), opening/closing door is an equation of a circle, angles, fly screens (pattern), windows (pulleys sometimes), handles (knob or lever impacts on effort)

Table/desk/chair: Based on statistics to fit majority of students.

Leaning back on chair: Centre of Gravity. Watch out. 

Sharpening pencil: Circular motion, sharpness of blade reduces force needed. Why?

Pens, books dropping on floor: Good old gravity. Works every time. Quadratic fn.

Fonts: Size. Based on statistics for readability. Watch the small print.

Jewellery: Geometric shapes & patterns, but also symmetry of diamond facets, weight of diamonds in carats, purity of gold in carats (different carat).

Zips: Interlocking pattern hopefully not interlocking with your skin.

Heating: Flow rate, cost, vent locations.

Architecture: Of building involves length, height, area and cost. 

External Noise: Wall thickness. Sound proofing.

Rubbish: Recycling. Why do it?

Tights: You buy them using a height weight graph on the back of the packet. 

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9. Funky, Fab and Fantastic. Yeah! That’s Middle School Maths.

August 26, 2016

Mathspig Funky, fab & Fantastic 9

Funky, Fab and Fantastic INTRO

Here is a fabulous idea for prompting students to ‘see’ maths in the world. This activity was designed by Axelle Person Faughn, North Carolina University (Below).

Mathspig Maths Selfies 1

The idea is simple.

Ask students to take pictures of maths they see in their lives. The photos below were taken by Axelle’s students.

Alternatively, you can give students an equation and ask them to find a picture representing that equation. Axelle gave Mathspig a slip of paper with the words ‘Demonstrate limits’. I sent back a picture of curly hair and a link to the equation of a helix.

maths-selfies

Mathspig Maths Selfie 2

Mathspig Maths Selfie 3

……………………………..

Mathspig Maths Selfies 4

Is that pasta really a Sine Curve?

Mathspig Maths Selfies 5

 

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10. Funky, Fab and Fantastic. Yeah! That’s Middle School Maths.

August 23, 2016

10 Funky, fab and Fantastic

Funky, Fab and Fantastic INTRO

Maths today is invisible.

It is hidden, most often, behind screens in computer code. But every so often some magical machine arrives that makes maths visible.

Look at the Marble Machine (below) by Wintergartan a Swedish folktronica band, then ask your students ‘what maths was involved making this machine?’

It didn’t just happen. Some suggestions below.

musical-maths-logo

Maths involved:

*length of xylphone keys. These will be accurately measured to produce the correct note. Ditto width and thickness.

*rate of rotation of gears, wheels

*parabolic path of marble falling on xylophone keys

*ratios of gear wheels

*statistics. The marbles do not always bounce indentically off the keys. So the cup needs to be big enough to capture – what?- 99.99% of the bouncing marbles. I think less. You can count the number of marbles – ball bearings – that have escaped. You can see them on the floor at the end of the video. So you can calculate the % that escape.

*timing (Each element of the machine has to be timed to create the musical effect. Not chaos.)

*Engineering Maths: Strength of laminate. This will have been tested by the manufacturer. Laminates have a much greater tensile strength than one piece of wood.

*Computer Cutting: A program exists to accurately cut out those wheels from a laminate.

*Cost

*How do you buy 2,000 marbles (ball bearings)? Do you count them? You would buy them by weight.

*Any more suggestions?

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MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig …………………………………………………. with Kerry Cue

July 10, 2015

Mathspig m&m maths intro

Hellooooo My Little Sweeties,

There is so much maths you can do with m&ms, it’s hard to believe there is any other sort of maths.

You can study:

Countingtimes tables, set theory, Bar graphs, Fractions, % and decimalsMean, median, modeand parabolas (using a really cool peg-powered catapult).

But my favouritest ,developed by Patrick Len, is using m&ms to demonstrate half life in radioactive substances and therefore write an exponential equation.

m+m ACTIVITY:

m&ms  table

Throw a fixed no. m&ms on a table. Mathspig chose 128 m&ms for a very good reason. Eat the ones with the m showing. Count remainder. Throw again. Eat the ones with the m showing. Count remained. Keep doing this. You will end up with results like the following. (Not identical as chance is involved)

mathspig   m&m maths exponential fn  2

Wow! m&m’s and exponential equations. How yummy is that!!!!!!

More yummy maths:

m+m maths 1: find the volume using m+ms!

m+m maths 2: Guess, NO, calculate the number of m+ms in a jar!

m+m maths 3: how many m+ms will kill you?

m+m maths 4: How many m+ms will kill my dog?

m+m maths 5: how many m+ms will kill my cat?

m+m maths 6: How many m+ms will kill my pet rat?

m+ms maths 7: how many m+ms will kill my pet mouse?

Mmmmmmm! Can’t talk. Face full of chocolate.

Bye bye

Mathspig