Mathspig has become obsessed with the Galton Board since watching ELEVEN dropping discs into the peg board on STRANGER THINGS 4.

Now thanks to David Butler, University of Adelaide, you can turn your middle school class into Galton Balls. You can find 100 randomly generated instruction sheets for each human Galton Ball at David’s website. (Link above)

Ideally, you would have 3,000 students to do this activity. But the class exercise ends with something approximating a Normal Distribution or Bell Curve constructed from video tap casettes. And the NOrMal Distribution is spooky.

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

“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:

This is the best Middle School Probability outdoor exercise EVER!

Equipment:

1 coin per student.

Instructions:

In the schoolyard, students move back and forward with the flip of a coin. Must be a good flip. This exercise works best with a grid drawn on the schoolyard in chalk, perhaps. (See pic below) If possible film the exercise from above.

Now here are lots of people doing this 2D random Walk on Wall St. The results are totally amazing.

…………………………………………………………

Watch for the Bell Curve. It’s AWESOME.

This video was made by The National Museum of Mathematics NY.

As the weather improves – Spring in Melbourne, my city & Autumn in USA & UK – it is an ideal time to take math outdoors. Here are some fab exercises for Middle School Math.

Lego Man soccer fields will vary in size depending on the height of each player picked by each student. This does your head in. It is really challenging maths!

You’ll find full calculations at the Maths is Fun blog.

You’ll find more fab outdoor junior and middle school maths activities at the terrific Maths and Movement blog.

Some students will discover their co-ordinate point is not on the grid. Students should then work out that they will need a different scale for the y-axis. You can get more inspiration at the Stand Again blog.

“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:

And now Mathspig has been cruising in her Hogmobile working out how far a car can travel on human fat. You will find interesting calculations here, here and here.

Ooooooh! I’ve got the munchies. I better go and make some more DIY bio-fuel.

Does this risk-averse teaching not only make maths boring, but encourage MATHS PHOBIA in children?

Pam Kent, President SAPPA

Pam Kent, President of the South Australian Primary Principals Association (SAPPA) writes that ‘risk-averseness looms large’ in teaching today, yet ‘current research strongly supports the notion of risk taking for effective learning’.

This research includes work by Ellen Sandseter, Professor of Early Childhood Education, Queen Maud Uni College, Norway.

Sandseter claims that children are born to take risks and this is how they learn to deal with such things as fear of heights. (See: Can playgrounds be to safe?John, Tierney, New York Times, 18 JUL 2011) If children do not tackle a fear of heights, say, they can develop a phobia.

To tackle Maths Phobia Mathspig has written a list of

Take No 21. Kids get this. As you get further and further away from the candle the sphere gets bigger so the brightness decreases. They don’t have to do the maths. But tell them ‘This is university maths, but very interesting’.

As for No 37: How do you break your teeth playing pool? Well, if you leave your hand on the pool table or lean on the cushion the ball can cannon off the opposite cushion and run back up your arm and smash your teeth. (Ref. Mathspig’s brother)

“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 has been reading The Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. He describes school today as a form of ‘passive incarceration’. Too many children live their life indoors exposed to the ‘one-way experience of television and other electronic media’. Many rarely, or never, experience nature or just digging for worms in the garden. And sometimes nature is just around the corner.

Mathspig lives 10 km from the CBD in Melbourne, Australia. Aussies often joke about riding kangaroos to school or warn of Drop Bears (Koalas that kill tourists dropping from trees). It’s our Aussie sense of humour. Those jokes almost seemed real when these kangaroos turned up by the Yarra river below Mathspig’s house recently. They’re wild roos. I saw them at 9am one Sunday looking at all the joggers, dog-walkers and cyclists on the nearby bike track. They didn’t seem worried. Awesome. Or, maybe, roo-some.

So outdoors we go, mathpiggeies, to embrace nature and have some grand maths adventures:

Lego Man soccer fields will vary in size depending on the height of each player picked by each student. This does your head in. It is really challenging maths!

You’ll find full calculations at the Maths is Fun blog.

You’ll find more fab outdoor junior and middle school maths activities at the terrific Maths and Movement blog.

Some students will discover their co-ordinate point is not on the grid. Students should then work out that they will need a different scale for the y-axis. You can get more inspiration at the Stand Again blog.