## 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.

## ………………………….

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.

## ………………………………………

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

## April Fool Math TEST … USA units

March 22, 2021

2020 passed in a blur. Now we need to grab the student’s attention. This April Fool Maths Test should do it.

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 smartboard or just read out the answers.

Mathspig April Fools Math Test 1 USA

Mathspig April Fools Math Test 2 USA

Mathspig April Fools Math Test ANSWER USA

## April Fool Maths Test … Metric

March 22, 2021

2020 passed in a blur. Now we need to grab the student’s attention. This April Fool Maths Test should do it.

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 smartboard.

Mathspig April Fools Maths Test 1

Mathspig April Fools Maths Test 2

Mathspig April Fools Maths Test ANSWER

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.

……………….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.

## ………………………….

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.

## ………………………………………

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

## April Fool Math TEST … USA units

March 27, 2019

2020 passed in a blur. Now we need to grab the student’s attention. This April Fool Maths Test should do it.

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 smartboard or just read out the answers.

Mathspig April Fools Math Test 1 USA

Mathspig April Fools Math Test 2 USA

Mathspig April Fools Math Test ANSWER USA

## April Fool Maths Test

March 27, 2019

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.

Mathspig April Fools Maths Test 1

Mathspig April Fools Maths Test 2

Mathspig April Fools Maths Test ANSWER

February 7, 2019

## Amazing Maths Clock

March 17, 2018

Albert Digital Mathematical clocks are fascinating.

You calculate the time using +, -, x and ÷ . Such fun and ideal for the math classroom.

Mathspig found the Albert Mathematical clock at the Horsham International Hotel (below).

You can set the level of difficulty. You get 1 minute to work out the answer and that’s long enough.

## 10 Reasons Why Students HATE Maths: BUSTED

December 17, 2017

## 3.  Everyone Hates Maths Anyway: BUSTED

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## same thing: BUSTED

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## 5. It’s Too Hard: BUSTED

Come one, a racoon can do it!

## 7. Maths is really SCARY!: BUSTED

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## 8. I’ll NEVER use this MATHS: BUSTED

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## Class: BUSTED……………………………

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## 6. You’re either Good at Maths or You’re Not

September 20, 2017

### The Solution:

#### Do something that grabs their attention, something counterintuitive. Here is one of the BEST revision projects ever for middle school maths students. Remember, the best way to learn something is to teach it.

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Project MATHS SLAM WORKSHEET plain txt PDF

Project MATHS SLAM WORKSHEET plain txt USA PDF

### ………………………………………………………………………….

Project Maths Slam

Project Maths Slam USA TERMS