Razzle-Dazzle them with Middle School Math that is, like, WOW!

September 4, 2022

10 Quick & Quirky Ways to Make the Math Classroom Rock!

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1. Tell a Story: Life, Death, and Geometry

This is middle school maths at its best. To understand Wild Fires you must understand the angle of a slope. REQUIREMENTS: Just this story and a white or blackboard to show how the fire speed changes with the slope angle.

Background Story

On 5th August 1949 Wag Dodge was dropped by parachute with 14 other firefighters into Mann Gulch, a steep-sided gully in a Montana pine forest. Firefighters who parachute in to put out small blazes started by lightning are called Smoke Jumpers. As they worked their way down the sides of the gully the breeze was blowing away from them. But the wind soon shifted. This produced an updraft, which increases the speed of the fire front. The 15 Smoke Jumpers turned and started running for their lives uphill.

What you have to know

Heat rises and so there is a Chimney Effect pushing the fire uphill. The rule of thumb used by firefighters is:

Each 10º increase in slope, the fire front speed doubles. So a fire front traveling at 60 kph (37 mph) becomes a fire front traveling at 120kph (75 mph) moving up a slope of 10º.

What happened to the Smoke Jumpers?

When the fire front changed direction Wag Dodge and 14 other Smoke Jumpers found themselves running for their lives up a steep slope. What did Wag do next?

ANS: Here’s the amazing thing. Wag realised he could not outrun the fire at that point. So he stopped, took off his backpack, took out some MATCHES, and lit a fire in the grassy patch in front of him. Just before the firewall hit he threw himself face down on the burnt patch. He survived. The other 14 firefighters did not. You will find maths exercises here: METRIC UNITS and USA UNITS.

Requirements: SmartBoard to Project this link.

Try it first. You might be surprised.

3. Urban Myth Busted

Requirements: This story.

Goldfish Memory This is what Epidemiologists do. They find out if there are statistics to support the theory. These mathematicians have been providing vital information during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

According to the ABC news, this myth was busted by a 15-year-old Adelaide schoolboy named Rory Stokes. He fed his goldfish near a Red Lego brick. The fish started anticipating food near the brick. He took it away and replaced it several weeks later. The fish remembered the red brick!!! More here.

Other maths myths to check out:

Chewing food 32 times before swallowing helps you lose weight. Here.

You must drink 8 glasses of water a day. Here.

You are 6 degrees of separation from anyone in the world. Here.

It takes 43 muscles to frown and only 17 to smile. Here.

4. Beat this! Drum Rates in BPM.

Requirements: A pencil and a timer on a phone.

Can students manage a drumbeat to popular songs? Here are some songs with their BPMs (Beats per minute listed).

Tones and I     Dance Monkey  98 BPM.

The Rubens  Live In Life  104 BPM.

……………….Just Dance          119   BPM

Flume   Rushing Back   176  BPM   (Try the middle of the track. It varies)

Panic! At the Disco      186 BPM   (Recommended by Jog.FM for jogging)

More DRUM BEATS and a story about Drummers’ Brains here.

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Requirements: Phonebook.

Read the instructions at this link. Very simple. And you can amaze the students. Or Vice Versa. A student can amaze a maths teacher.

6.  Can you make a Square Bubble?

Requirements: pipe cleaners or stick cube and detergent and a bucket with water.

All ages love this exercise.

7. Photo Scavenger Hunt

Challenge: Students use a smartphone to take 5 mathsy photos for homework. Ideas here.

However, start in the maths room. Look for parallel lines, angles, rectangles, spheres, parabolas (not in the textbooks). See parabola below.

8. Barcode Maths

Requirements: A product with a barcode.

9. Secret Code

Requirements: Box of matches, an accomplice.

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Requirements: 2 large coins. 20c in Australia, Half-\$ USA or 25p UK.

March 18, 2022

A COOL MIDDLE SCHOOL MATH EXERCISE

This idea comes from Burkard and Giuseppe @ the fabulous MATHOLOGER channel. Students can make a pattern called a cardioid that pops up all over math according to Burkard.

Follow these steps. There is a pdf file below the first diagram for printing exercise sheets.

And then watch the MATHOLOGER video for a really interesting explanation.

x2 Tables on a Circle pdf file for printing

This circle graph blank could also be used for x3 and x4 tables, which produce totally different yet equally amazing patterns.

Halfway there, now it gets tricky. +52 to each point on the circle and keep multiplying by 2.

ie. 27 x 2 = 54, 28 x 2 = 56 and so on.

so 0 = 52, 1 = 53, 2 = 54, 3 = 55, 4 = 56 etc

This shape is called a CARTIOID.

January 6, 2022

Answers Q 17 – 22 Here

22 Amazing Numbers for 2022  … Answers Q 1 – 5

January 6, 2022

Ref: New York Post

Ref:Interview on I Catch Killers with Gary Jubelin podcast.

Ref: Healthline

22 Amazing Numbers for 2022 … Answers Q 6 – 10

January 6, 2022

Ref: Indoor Skydiving

REf: Naomi Osaka

REf: Forbes Mag

REf: Shoe Obsession

22 Amazing Numbers for 2022  … Answers Q 11 – 16

January 6, 2022

Ref: (bbc.com)

Ref: Dermatology Clinic

REf:(time.com)

Ref: Call of Duty

22 Amazing Numbers for 2022  … Answers Q 17 – 22

January 6, 2022

Ref: The Guardian, Aus

Ref: New York Times

Ref: (royal.uk)

Death by Caffeine: The Math  Part 2 USA units

November 18, 2021

Death by Caffeine: The Math  Part 2 Metric Units HERE.

Caffeine content sources Caffeine Content Data Base

On April 12 2017 16-year-old Davis Cripe collapsed at school in South Carolina and died later in hospital.  In the span of two hours, Davis drank a cafe latte from McDonald’s and a large Mountain Dew, then “chugged” a 16-ounce energy drink when he got back to art class.

Here, assuming Davis drank large sized drinks, is the lethal caffeine consumption.

NOTE: Davis lived in the USA where standard drink volumes are slightly different to Australia & UK. The USA volumes are used here converted to litre and ml.

The official cause of death was “caffeine-induced cardiac event causing a probable arrhythmia,” the coroner concluded. Source: Washington Post

Caffeine can kill.

WARNING: “Mixing caffeine with alcohol is a dangerous practice because it may lead to higher levels of alcohol consumption as the person often believes and feels they are more alert,” said Dr Robert Glatter, ER doctor at Lenox Hill Hospital, NYC . “The risk of alcohol poisoning increases as people consume more alcohol because they feel the caffeine will keep them awake and alert.” Source: USA Today

Death by Caffeine: The Maths  Part 2 METRIC

November 18, 2021

Death by Caffeine: The Math  Part 2 USA UNITS HERE.

Caffeine content sources Caffeine Content Data Base

On April 12 2017 16-year-old Davis Cripe collapsed at school in South Carolina and died later in hospital.  In the span of two hours, Davis drank a cafe latte from McDonald’s and a large Mountain Dew, then “chugged” a 16-ounce energy drink when he got back to art class.

Here, assuming Davis drank large sized drinks, is the lethal caffeine consumption.

NOTE: Davis lived in the USA where standard drink volumes are slightly different to Australia & UK. The USA volumes are used here converted to litre and ml.

The official cause of death was “caffeine-induced cardiac event causing a probable arrhythmia,” the coroner concluded. Source: Washington Post

Caffeine can kill.

WARNING: “Mixing caffeine with alcohol is a dangerous practice because it may lead to higher levels of alcohol consumption as the person often believes and feels they are more alert,” said Dr Robert Glatter, ER doctor at Lenox Hill Hospital, NYC . “The risk of alcohol poisoning increases as people consume more alcohol because they feel the caffeine will keep them awake and alert.” Source: USA Today

I Can’t Sleep: Caffeine Math Part 3 USA UNITS

November 13, 2021

I Can’t Sleep Math: Caffeine Maths METRIC HERE.

Sensitivity to caffeine varies for individuals, but in healthy adults the half life for caffeine is approx 6hrs meaning your body eliminates half the caffeine you have drunk in 6 hrs.

Caffeine interferes with sleep. One study found that consuming caffeine 6 hours before bedtime reduced total sleep time by 1 hour.

Caffeine content sources Caffeine Content Data Base

Street art by JEKS, South Carolina

The Half life equation is an exponential function.

The Mayo Clinic advises up to 400mg Caffeine a day for adults, which would be;

10 black teas

7 instant coffees

4 cappuccinos

2 dark roast brewed

less than one cup of Black Insomnia Coffee.

Approx half this amount of caffeine for 14 yos.