Category: Math for Elem Teachers

The Projects Get BETTER

The second unit in Math for Elementary Teachers (MathET) is on numeration systems and operations on whole numbers.  Again, the students had to complete a “learning project” for the unit.  Some blogged, some mapped concepts and resources, come made presentations to the class, and some built digital lessons. The students are getting “braver” with what they try with each unit we cover. Here are the best projects from Round 2: Two great Prezi’s, one on Addition & Subtraction and one on Exponent Rules A mindmap that attempts to find games or videos for every topic from the unit (in addition to providing notes on each topic) Another mindmap that used some great color-coding to explain the material A  cartoon (made with Pixton) that is funny AND provides details about the history of the number zero Two great blogs: Ashley’s, Alyssa’s Ohio State Princess, and Leichia’s BusyMomLa Round 3 ends tomorrow, but AMATYC starts tomorrow too, so it will be a few days before I post round 3.  If you’d like to learn more about the Learning Projects for this class, you can read Transforming Math for Elementary Ed. Possibly Related Posts: Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast about ESIL Lens Add Graphs In The World to Courses Bringing the Real World to Your Math Class Every Day Taking the Algebra Out of College Algebra Group Exploration in...

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Math Videos at the Sputnik Observatory

The Sputnik Observatory, is dedicated to providing a venue for viewing and sharing ideas and philosophies of contemporary culture.  Jonathan Harris, who worked on the mindblowing sociological website We Feel Fine, is the site director and blog creator for Sputnik Observatory.  Sputnik also has a host of codirectors with diverse backgrounds in journalism, architecture, and ballet.  Members of Sputnik have spent the last ten years interviewing scientists, philosophers, academics, and the like.  They have over 200 videos of conversations on themes such as coherence, interspecies communication, and urban metabolism. “Sputnik Observatory is a New York not-for-profit educational organization dedicated to the study of contemporary culture. We fulfill this mission by documenting, archiving, and disseminating ideas that are shaping modern thought by interviewing leading thinkers in the arts, sciences and technology from around the world. Our philosophy is that ideas are NOT selfish, ideas are NOT viruses. Ideas survive because they fit in with the rest of life. Our position is that ideas are energy, and should interconnect and re-connect continuously because by linking ideas together we learn, and new ideas emerge.” Here are some of the short interviews that involve mathematics (and all really COOL mathematics).  All of these can be embedded into course shells. Will Wright – Possibility Space Ian Stewart – Alien Mathematics Ian Stewart – Pattern-Seeking Minds Lord Martin Rees – Simple Recipe Trevor Paglen –...

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What we’re doing with WolframAlpha

Originally, I started this post with the title “What I’m doing with Wolfram|Alpha” and then I revised it, because it’s not just me using Wolfram|Alpha. My students are using it too. Here are some of the things we’re doing: Discussion Boards: Wolfram|Alpha + Jing = Awesome Before Wolfram|Alpha, it could take several steps to get a graph or the solution to solving an equation to the discussion board in an online class. You had to use some program to generate the graph or the equations, then make a screenshot of the work, then get that hyperlink, image, or embed code to the discussion board. With Wolfram|Alpha, sometimes a simple link suffices. Suppose, for example, I needed to explain the last step in a calculus problem where the students have to find where there is a horizontal tangent line. After finding the derivative, they have to set it equal to zero and solve the equation (and calculus students notoriously struggle with their algebra skills). Rather than writing out all the steps to help a student on the discussion board, I could just provide the link to the solution and tell them to click on “Show Steps.” Sometimes, a bit more explanation may be required, and in these circumstances, Jing + Wolfram|Alpha really comes in handy. For instance, I needed to show how to reflect a function over the line y=1....

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Puzzle Broadcasts on the Math Factor

Is anyone in the mood for a good math puzzle?  The Math Factor is a well-established resource of just that.  University of Arkansas professor, Chaim Goodman-Strauss and radio journalist, Kyle Kellams, have been broadcasting weekly math-puzzle  segments since 2004 on Kellams’ show Ozarks at Large.  The Math Factor website is a steadily-growing archive of their work.  Goodman-Strauss, together with Edmund Harriss , Stephen Morris, and Jeff Yoak, provide the content (which contains works from Lewis Carroll, among others).  Several older puzzle posts include podcasts of Goodman-Strauss, and other contributors, explaining the answers on Kellams’ show.  There are also links for comments if you would like to post a response to a puzzle. Also available: a poster in case you’d like to help advertise! The Math Factor on Twitter  (username: @Mathfactor or hashtag #mathfactor) Goodman-Strass’ graphics page Possibly Related Posts: Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast about ESIL Lens Add Graphs In The World to Courses Bringing the Real World to Your Math Class Every Day Taking the Algebra Out of College Algebra Group Exploration in...

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Algebra Balance Scales

There are lots of “games” out there about solving equations, but I haven’t found a single one that is more than algebra homework dressed up with pretty packaging.  The “games” are all of the same format.  We’ll give you problems, you give us answers and we’ll reward you (or your character) if you get them right.  These are not teaching games, these are just more of the same kind of practice that you would find in an algebra text. There is one applet that is worthy of mention, though.  The Algebra Balance Scales from the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives is quite good.  It isn’t billed as a game, but when you’re using it, you feel like you are playing a game because you’re interacting with the algebra on the screen. I recorded an example to show my students how it works. An interesting assignment for an online or hybrid class would be to have THEM record an example explaining the process (you could, for example, use Jing like I did) and turn in the link. Possibly Related Posts: Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast about ESIL Lens Add Graphs In The World to Courses Bringing the Real World to Your Math Class Every Day Taking the Algebra Out of College Algebra Group Exploration in...

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