Happy Math Monday to you all!
This week is Public Education Week in Manitoba – so to celebrate, at least half the items today are Manitoba based!
Focus Area #1: Engagement
Euler and Google: Not to be missed today, Google’s celebrating Leonhard Euler’s 306th birthday! Check out their lovely graphic and click to find all sorts of Euler’s math!
Focus Area #2: Critical Thinking
Manitoba Population Statistics: Manitoba’s Bureau of Statistics has some great Flash files on their website, like:
Manitoba’s population (growth from 1871 to 2008)
Age and Gender Profile (from 1949 to 2007)
Age and Gender Profile (predictive, 2006 to 2028)
It’s a great set of resources to engage math students in discussions about Manitoba-based stats, as well as to delve deeper into graphing representations (bias) and use for student research projects.
Focus Area #3: Connections
Interactive Manitoba Flood Data Graph: With today’s snow coming down, and the snowstorm south of our border, thoughts are turning once again to flood predictions for Manitoba. The Winnipeg Free Press has created an excellent interactive graph of flood data showing 1950, 1997, 2009, and 2013 river levels March through May.
Focus Area #4: Professional Learning
Manitoba Education Resource Network (MERN): MERN regularly holds forums on topical areas for Manitoba teachers, the most recent being a Special Forum on Math Inquiry this past March. MERN also publishes a journal online. Volume 4 in particular has an article on social justice in the mathematics classroom (p.85) that provides some interesting insights and perspectives. The article encourages us as math teachers to “critique status quo perceptions and uses of mathematics” such as the (unfortunately) socially acceptable “I’m not good at math” attitude.
Focus Area #5: Current Research
“Mathematics ability has been regarded more as a specialized function rather than as a general indicator of intelligence. Consequently, the stigma of not being able to do mathematics was reduced and became socially acceptable.” (How the Brain Learns Mathematics, David A. Sousa, Corwin Press 2008, p.170)
We need to change this attitude!
David A. Sousa is a researcher and educational consultant, with a background in K-12 teaching and a doctorate degree from Rutgers University. His research focuses on the brain and cognition, and he is a member of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society. This book offers a great summary of the latest neuroscience, cognitive mechanisms for learning mathematics, how environment and developmental factors contribute to mathematical difficulties, and key ways to differentiate mathematics instruction to support struggling learners.
Focus Area #6: Ressources en Francais
Mathematiques et Euler: A ne pas râter aujourd’hui : le doodle du jour de Google fête l’ “anniversaire” d’Euler!
Tangente ”Deux en Un”: Tu peux utiliser GeoGebra pour cette Problème Ouvert: “conjecturer la solution à l’aide du logiciel et démontrer le résultat en appliquant la formule de l’équation de la tangente”!