Posts Tagged ‘challenge’

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

September 4, 2022

 

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

…………………………………………………………..

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.

……………………………………………………..

5...MatHoudini

………………………….

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.

………………………………………

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.

Read this link and check the barcode.

………………………………………

9. Secret Code

Requirements: Box of matches, an accomplice.

Read this link and amaze the class.

………………………………………

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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Draw a Cool Pattern with x2, x 3 & x4 Tables… but it is trickier than you think.

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.

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What’s the Maths Curriculum got to do with it? WHEN Maths is, like, soooo BORING!!!!!

February 22, 2022

Australia is reviewing its Maths Curriculum.

Sides are taken. Arguments are rife. See the excellent article by Donna LuCracking the formula: how should Australia be teaching maths under the national curriculum?, The Guardian,13 FEB, 2022)

Should teachers teach? Or students explore problems? (Called Cognitive Activation in academe!)

Why not, both? Then add outdoor maths (below) plus defronting the classroom sometimes and try some maths selfies for homework. More ideas here

It doesn’t matter what’s written in the curriculum, the biggest problem in maths for students is

BOREDOM.

Here, to tackle boredom are:

41 Maths things to do before you’re 12


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.

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FREAKY FRIDAY: Surd & Absurd Maths Word Maze UK edition

October 25, 2021

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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FREAKY FRIDAY: Surd and Absurd Math Word Maze USA edition

October 25, 2021

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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A Bitcoin Bubble, a Random Walk and a blind-folded Monkey

July 6, 2021

What is all this monkey business? It started in 1973 when Princeton University professor Burton Malkiel claimed in his bestselling book, A Random Walk Down Wall Street, that “A blindfolded monkey throwing darts at a newspaper’s financial pages could select a portfolio that would do just as well as one carefully selected by experts.”

In other words, the stock price movement is random. 

See Forbes Magazine here.

Now in its 12th edition, the book tackles Investment Bubbles including Bitcoin. Is there a Bitcoin Bubble? According to the ABC on 24 MAY 2021 this was the Bitcoin Bubble Graph:

From the ABC news here

Random Walk Game

So can you beat the financial market? Try this 2D Random Walk game (pic below) to see if you can guess the next random move and beat the system.

In the game, you have to remove gold blocks by clicking on blocks in the way of the moving green dot, but you lose energy (lose money, perhaps) each time you remove a block.  Can you guess where the green dot is moving? Can you survive? Mmmmm! Good Luck. You’ll need it.

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20 Gobsmacklingly AMAZING numbers … Revisited

May 25, 2021

… these nos. are  amaaaazing but no one could find the answers in the earlier post.

………………………………………………………..

Click on the POP-UP answers under each question.

1. How many bristles in a toothbrush?

2. What % of Oxygen in the atmosphere comes from forests?

3. How loud was the loudest recorded human scream?

4. How many apples could kill an average-sized adult?

5. How many countries in Africa?

6. What happens when you Google this number, 241543903?

7. How many vertebrae in a giraffe’s neck?

8. What is the highest recorded wind speed?

9. What is the world record high-jump height for a guinea pig?

10. How many times does England fit into Australia?

11. How much did the most expensive dessert ever cost?

12. Why is 70 a weird number?

13. Why Google Googol?

14. How many burgers does McDonalds sell a second worldwide?

15. If the population of the world was spread evenly across the USA, what area would we get each in basketball court sections?

16. How many times was the most frequently married person in the world, married?

17. Why is Zero Zero Zero like 123?

18. What is the world record for the greatest number of snorts in 10 seconds?

19. How long would it take to grow your hair to your feet?

20. What number causes the greatest loss of money in the world?

LINKS:

1. How many bristles in a toothbrush? HERE

2. What % of Oxygen in the atmosphere comes from forests? HERE

3. 3. How loud was the loudest recorded human scream? GOOGLE IT!

4. How many apples could kill an average-sized adult? HERE

5. 5. How many countries in Africa? GOOGLE IT!

6. What happens when you Google this number: 241543903? HERE

7. How many vertebrae in a giraffe’s neck? HERE

8. What is the highest recorded wind speed? HERE and HERE

9. What is the world record high-jump height for a guinea pig? GOOGLE IT!

10. How many times does England fit into Australia? GOOGLE IT!

11. How much did the most expensive dessert ever cost? GOOGLE AGAIN.

12. Why is 70 a weird number? HERE

13. Why Google Googol? HERE

14. How many burgers does McDonalds sell a second worldwide? HERE

15. If the population of the world spread across the USA , what area would we get each?

GOOGLE THE NUMBERS!

16. How many times was the most frequently married person in the world, married?

GOOGLE HIM.

17. Why is Zero Zero Zero like 123? HERE

18. What is the world record for the greatest number of snorts in 10 seconds? HERE

19. How long would it take to grow your hair to your feet? HERE

20. 20. What number causes the greatest loss of money in the world? HERE

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20 AMAZING numbers

April 26, 2021

… so amaaaazing you’ll have to check them for yourself!

POP UP ANSWERS … click on Q.

1. How many bristles in a toothbrush?

2. What % of Oxygen in the atmosphere comes from forests?

3. How loud was the loudest recorded human scream?

4. How many apples could kill an average-sized adult?

5. How many countries in Africa?

6. What happens when you Google this number, 241543903?

7. How many vertebrae in a giraffe’s neck

8. What is the highest recorded wind speed?

9. What is the world record high-jump height for a guinea pig?

10. How many times does England fit into Australia?

11. How much did the most expensive dessert ever cost?

12. Why is 70 a weird number?

13. Why Google Googol?

14. How many burgers does McDonalds sell a second worldwide?

15. If the population of the world was spread evenly across the USA, what area would we get each in basketball court sections?

16. How many times was the most frequently married person in the world, married?

17. Why is Zero Zero Zero like 123?

18. What is the world record for the greatest number of snorts in 10 seconds?

19. How long would it take to grow your hair to your feet?

20. What number causes the greatest loss of money in the world?

LINKS:

1. How many bristles in a toothbrush? HERE

2. What % of Oxygen in the atmosphere comes from forests? HERE

3. 3. How loud was the loudest recorded human scream? GOOGLE IT!

4. How many apples could kill an average-sized adult? HERE

5. 5. How many countries in Africa? GOOGLE IT!

6. What happens when you Google this number: 241543903? HERE

7. How many vertebrae in a giraffe’s neck? HERE

8. What is the highest recorded wind speed? HERE and HERE

9. What is the world record high-jump height for a guinea pig? GOOGLE IT!

10. How many times does England fit into Australia? GOOGLE IT!

11. How much did the most expensive dessert ever cost? GOOGLE AGAIN.

12. Why is 70 a weird number? HERE

13. Why Google Googol? HERE

14. How many burgers does McDonalds sell a second worldwide? HERE

15. If the population of the world spread across the USA , what area would we get each?

GOOGLE THE NUMBERS!

16. How many times was the most frequently married person in the world, married?

GOOGLE HIM.

17. Why is Zero Zero Zero like 123? HERE

18. What is the world record for the greatest number of snorts in 10 seconds? HERE

19. How long would it take to grow your hair to your feet? HERE

20. 20. What number causes the greatest loss of money in the world? HERE

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Real World Maths: Ciphers for Middle School Students

December 17, 2020

The ZODIAC murderer, who killed, at least, 5 people from 1968-1970 and sent encrypted messages to the San Francisco Chronicle, has never been caught.

The 340 cipher was cracked last week. See post here. To understand how ciphers work here are 3 simple ciphers that have been used in the past. 

 

 

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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!

…………………………………………………………..

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.

……………………………………………………..

5...MatHoudini

………………………….

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.

………………………………………

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.

Read this link and check the barcode.

………………………………………

9. Secret Code

Requirements: Box of matches, an accomplice.

Read this link and amaze the class.

………………………………………

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.