Doodling in Math Class

Math No Comments »

I let my students doodle in class.

Some students just need to move their hands in some way or another, and so instead of them tapping a pencil or ruler on their desk, I tell them to doodle.

Then last week I was introduced to the queen of math doodles, Vi Hart… from one of my students, no less.  If you read math blogs, then you have probably come across her work already. I, however, do not get to read as much as I would like, and so I am thankful that I have an aspiring doodler in one of my classes who is, apparently, more informed than me.  

The first video of hers that I watched was ‘Infinity Elephants’. Yes, you will have to listen to her quips about boring math class, but it is worth it to see her doodle and hear her accompanying explanations. (And despite our best planning and intentions, I am sure that we, the collective math teachers, have managed to bore some of our students at one point or another.)

She has four doodling videos on her blog – Infinity Elephants, Binary Trees, Stars, and Snakes and Graphs.  I have watched all four videos, and enjoyed all of them. One of the extra perks for me were the little snippets from the “The Little Prince“, which you would only notice if you have actually read the book.

When I googled Hart to find out more about her, I came across a video that she had created with references to the original Flatland story. This one, titled “Mӧbius Story – Wind and Mr. Ug”, takes place along a Mӧbius strip – a surface with only one side and one boundary component. Check out her blog and watch her doodle, then come back to see her story along a Mӧbius strip. It is worth a few moments of your time.  

Numbers, numbers, everywhere.

Math, Using Tech No Comments »

It’s a math day.

Every now and then I like to find new sites to help enrich my math program. Here are a few of my old time favourites and some new ones, as well.

Bridgeport Mathematics – This site has resources for pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. Clicking on each topic brings you to an set of resources for each,  complete with unit overviews (they call them pacing guides), online practice, worksheets, and additional links. There are also math cartoons and math magic games, as well as a direct link to the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives.

mathcentre  – Another good resource site for math videos, worksheet booklets, games, and so much more.

Yummy Math – This sites brings in real world connections to various topics across the math curriculum. (I also like the mathalicious site for real world connections in math, but they are currently under construction – should be up and running soon.)

Mathwire – A great site for math enrichment activities.

nrich – This site provides Rich tasks for the math program. It is based in the UK, so look to the key stage/age equivalencies on the help page.

The last site I will highlight today is from the Utah Education Network, which provides math interactive activities across the curriculum.

 And if you find yourself with a spare moment or two (or nine), you can always enlighten yourself with a bit of global population statistics from the educated mind of Hans Rosling.

World Health Day 2011

General Science, Grade 6 Science, Grade 7 Science, Grade 8 Science No Comments »

April 7th is World Health Day. Every year the World Health Organization creates a World Health Day with a different theme. This year’s theme is “antimicrobial resistance and its global spread”.  What does this mean, exactly? It refers to a resistance to the various antibiotics medications that we use to fight infectious illnesses and diseases. At some point they become ineffective in our bodies, thus no longer achieving the goal for which they were created. This problem is becoming more widespread. The World Health Organization is using World Health Day 2011 to bring this issue to the forefront in the eyes of governments and stakeholders so that they can begin to combat this problem.

Who are the stakeholders? The people within the World Health Organization might have their own opinions, but I think that the stakeholders would be every living person in this world. The entire human population stands to gain, or lose, from the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of the various medications that we use to fight infection and disease.

It may be too late to plan a whole unit around this topic in time for World Health Day this year, but you can certainly begin the conversation by introducing some thought provoking activities. Here are some links to get you started in your planning:

World Health Organization – This is a direct link to the World Health Day page on their website. Go here for information about World Health Day for this year, and for past years. Here is their document which provides information about antimicrobial resistance:  World Health Day 2011

Antimicrobial Resistance from Public Health Agency of Canada

Antibiotic Awareness

Evolution and Antibiotic Resistance from PBS

Similarities Between Spread of an Infectious Disease and Population Growth

Unit Plan on the Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance

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