Posts Tagged ‘challenge’

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Post- COVID … We need Middle School Maths that is, like, WOW!

June 9, 2020

10 Quick & Quirky Ways to Make the Maths 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.

Lady Gaga      Bad Romance     118  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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5...MatHoudini

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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.

How? Read the link here.

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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.

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8. Barcode Maths

Requirements: A product with a barcode.

Read this link and check the barcode.

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9. Secret Code

Requirements: Box of matches, an accomplice.

Read this link and amaze the class.

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10. Rolling coin Paradox & the Radius 

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

Read this link first. It’s so counterintuitive.

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The Rolling Coin Paradox that drove me Crazy!

June 4, 2020

The MindYourDecisions blog (Video below) presents the PARADOX beautifully. 

Now consider the example of the coin rolling around a coin of the same size. Intuitively we think …’OK. Same circumference, so the coin will rotate once as it rolls around a same-size coin. But this doesn’t happen. It rotates twice.

TWICE!

This observation is SOOOOOOOO counterintuitive we have to know why?

Why?

Mr. MindYourDecisions doesn’t explain why this happens. The answer is interesting. The relevant point in the ROLLING COIN PARADOX is the centre of the rolling coin. The rolling coin rotates about that point. And that centre (the red dot in the gif below) moves through a circle twice the circumference of the stationary coin. It is much easier to understand when you see it. (Below)

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FRANTIC FRIDAY: Crazy Maths Word Maze UK edition

February 24, 2020

PDF file: 1. Crazy math maze work sheet 1 UK

PDF file: 2. Crazy math maze work sheet 2 UK

CRAZY MATHS MAZE WORKSHEET ANSWER

PDF file: 3. Crazy math maze work sheet ANS UK

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FRANTIC FRIDAY: Crazy Math Word Maze USA edition

February 24, 2020

PDF file: Crazy math maze work sheet 1 USA

PDF file: Crazy math maze work sheet 2 USA

CRAZY MATH MAZE WORKSHEET ANSWER

PDF File: Crazy math maze work sheet ANS USA

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It is Xmas … Ah! The Joy of Algebra!

December 5, 2019

Great Math Xmas Ornament Ideas for Middle School here @ MathEqualsLove blog.

Mathematicians can make mountains out of mince pies, but in this case Dr Eugenia Cheng, who is Professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of Sheffield, UK, makes it look fun. The video clip includes some great Middle School Maths that you can eat.

mince-pie-diag

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Make a Cool Pattern with x2 Tables… but it is trickier than you think.

September 6, 2019

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.

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FRANTIC FRIDAY: Crazy Math Word Maze USA edition

June 3, 2019

PDF file: Crazy math maze work sheet 1 USA

PDF file: Crazy math maze work sheet 2 USA

CRAZY MATH MAZE WORKSHEET ANSWER

PDF File: Crazy math maze work sheet ANS USA

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FRANTIC FRIDAY: Crazy Maths Word Maze UK edition

June 2, 2019

PDF file: 1. Crazy math maze work sheet 1 UK

PDF file: 2. Crazy math maze work sheet 2 UK

CRAZY MATHS MAZE WORKSHEET ANSWER

PDF file: 3. Crazy math maze work sheet ANS UK

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The Terrifying Math of Running from a Bear … USA Units

May 14, 2019

USA UNITS below. METRIC UNITS here.

BEAR STATISTICS

Grizzly Bear

Weight:  550 lb        

Height:  8’ 2”   

Top Speed: 35 mph  =   51 ft/s    

Brown Bear

Weight:  1,500 lb       

Height:  8’ 2”              

Top Speed: 22 mph  =  32 ft/s     

Comparing these speeds to the fastest man on earth, Usain Bolt:

Usain Bolt:

Top speed: 27 mph  =   40 ft/s     

Bears are not dangerous:

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In fact, more Americans die each year from choking on their own vomit than are killed by bears.

More death stats here

Nevertheless, bears are very fast. So you can see why Park Rangers offer the following advice:

More information at Mountain Nature.

The reason for waiting until the bear is 15 ft away is to make sure the spray doesn’t disperse in the air. If the Pepper Spray is too spread out it will not stop the bear.

Ref: Dog helps save hikers after grizzly chases them for 20 minutes.

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41 Maths things to do before you’re 12

March 25, 2019

Mathspig outdoor play quote

mathspig outdoor-play-app

A growing body of research shows us that outdoor play leads to better physical and mental health, has positive effects on cognitive function and learning, and reduces the incidence of behavioural problems.” Maria Zotti, Nature Play, SA.

Peter Dunstan, Principal Kilkenny PS, SA, writes in SAPPA magazine, Primary Focus, that outdoor play fosters “wonderment, independence and freedom” as well as “social skills, imagination, creativity and problem solving”.

Inspired by SAPPA and NaturePlay,  Mathspig has produced her own outdoorsy maths list:

 Mathspig 41 maths things 1Mathspig 41 maths things 2mathspig 41 maths things 3

Mathspig 41 maths things 4mathspig 41 maths things 5

References:

7. Robin Hood Give us your best shot.

9. You can measure the volume of your lungs by blowing one breath into a balloon and pushing it into a full bucket of water. Measure the overflow.

15: Outdoor Maths: Times Tables

21. Light intensity links. Here and here.

25.  Sound Volume Measurement

36. Killer heels that really kill.