Marvelous #Math Monday 04-29-13

Focus Area #1: Engagement
Buy Me a Car!: Head to the bottom of this email for the “en francais” “exemplaire unique” link – what an incredible car! Math equations all over it! Which equations can you (or your students) recognize? Also…if it’s in your budget, I’d like this car please! 😉

NCTM Trivia Session: (Warning! Recorded in a bar!) During NCTM’s annual meeting in Denver, Desmos and Mathalicious hosted a wonderfully unique math trivia session at the end of a long day of math sessions – with emcee Dan Meyer. There’s a great blog post on the trivia night but if you want to have a “student friendly” link to the actual trivia questions (all but the sound-based ones) you can locate them here. Note that the answers are trapped within the recording at the first link (the podcast), so you’ll hear rowdy math teachers and various typical bar noises (so don’t just press “play” for your students!).

Focus Area #2: Critical Thinking
What’s the Best Jury Size?: (exploration for SY) Though the article focuses on the United States and its “mishmash” of jury requirements and numbers required for a conviction, the last three paragraphs are a good exploration for students to check the author’s math. In this “What’s the Best Jury Size” article, the author states that “if everybody on a 12-person jury has a competence of 60 percent (that is, a 60 percent chance of drawing the right conclusion) and all their votes are independent, there is only a 1-in-500 chance that they will reach a unanimous verdict on the first ballot”. Is his math correct?

Divisibility by 11: (exploration for MY/SY) James Tanton has a series of challenging tweets on the divisibility of 11 this morning. Can your students prove any/all of these?
• A number is divisible by 11 only if deleting first digit and adding it two places in is divisible by 11. Why?
• A number is divisible by 11 only if the sum of its two-digit blocks is. Why?
• A number is divisible by 11 only if deleting last digit &subtracting it from what remains is divisible by 11. Why?

Focus Area #3: Connections
Problems of the Month: has a good collection of wonderfully scaffolded problems for your students. Find the problem collection (regularly updated), letters for parents, scoring guidelines, examples of how the A-E levels are scaffolded, and videos of implementation here. Note that if you wish to have teacher notes to the problems, this involves a simple form to fill out at this link (scroll to the bottom of the PotM page).

QR Codes in Math: I sat in on the “Scan it! Solve it! Show it!” session in Denver which featured multiple ways of utilizing QR codes in middle years math. I love the concept! Unfortunately, their sharing of resources involved a minimal set of examples. Should you want to access one lesson, they’ve got it (for $6.99 US) here. Regardless, the concept of layering in QR codes is a great idea. Use multiple QR codes in a picture or children’s book about a math concept – one code can lead students to a video on the concept, another code can lead a student to more historical math background, another code could lead them to the “assignment”. For a quick and free QR code creator that doesn’t require a login, try And for a simple tool to create animated videos, try (this one requires a login, however). Also, once I clone myself I will create a collection of QR-coded math books for MY-SY level.

Focus Area #4: Professional Learning
Math Coaching Videos: If you have regular math meetings in your school, or if your PGM has a math focus, you might be interested in the video collection available here. The project and website grew “out of the Noyce Foundation’s Silicon Valley Mathematics Initiative”. SVMI focuses on the Common Core State Standards – which does have many similarities to our WCNP curricula. The video collection could be useful to focus conversation in meetings or for your PLC.

Focus Area #5: Current Research
This book illustrates beautifully the paradox of a school system (indeed a nation) that was intent on producing ideal ‘democratic’ citizens for a modern – though abstractly defined- democratic state while simultaneously denying women the full rights of the imagined democracy.” (Democracy’s Angels – The Work of Women Teachers, Kristina Llewellyn, Queens University Press 2012, book jacket)

I’m in the process of reviewing this book for an educational journal, but even before I’m done reading it I can recommend it highly. I love that it is Canadian focused, and that it explores female educators’ experiences in Canada. In a post-war Canada, women were filling many positions across the nation – including teaching positions. The author shows how female educators were to “produce a new generation of housewives for a strong, democratic nation” but “ultimately confined women to teaching a model of citizenship that privileged masculinity”. Provocative reading.

Focus Area #6: Ressources en Francais
Exemplaire unique – Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Venet: I want this car! The article is en francais, but even just the pictures of the car are gorgeous. Which math equations do you see on the exterior/interior of the vehicle? (Also, this is officially on my Christmas wish list!!!)


About tjthiessen

explorer, administrator, consultant, student, leader
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