Posts Tagged ‘quick’

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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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Learning Jump Strategy from a Young Mathematician

June 8, 2018

Mathpig just learnt this from a young Mathematician age 9.

It is a great way to do maths because you are thinking ‘Mmmm! How can I work these numbers.’

Getting maths students to think about what they are doing is so much better than just having them guess ‘ Arrrr!  Whatever. Click B.’

More jump strategy information here.

This will be very useful later when it comes to a similar method used to simplify long division:

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Trick 5: Cool Math Trick

June 4, 2018

Requirements: A Pack of Cards and a willing assistant.

Take 10 cards from pack including the 10 Diamonds.

Lay out card in 3 columns in a pattern of 4 down, 2 down, 4 down.

Put the 10 Diamonds at the top of the  left hand column.

Group students around. You turn your head away and ask a student to point to a card.

You carry on, think allowed and then ask your assistant to point to cards asking:

Is it this one?

No.

Is it this one?

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When your assistant points to the 10 Diamonds he will show you the position using the diamonds. The cards are laid out on the table in the pattern of the diamonds on the 10 Diamonds.

Whenever your assistant asks is it this one? You will know.

See Mentalism Card Trick:

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5. Funky, Fab and Fantastic. Yeah! That’s Middle School Maths

September 20, 2016

5-funky-fab-and-fantastic

Funky, Fab and Fantastic INTRO

Algebra! Many students struggle with algebra because they see no point doing it. But here is the best fun with algebra you’ll ever have. It is so counter intuitive that you have to see the algebra to believe this trick. Mathspig tried this exercise out on school teachers at her ICME 13  workshop in Hamburg and this is the result filmed – with a few lighting wobbles – on an iphone.

Detailed explanation here.