Mathemania

Math No Comments »

Today I would like to share some great ideas from my Twitter PLN, which I hope to incorporate into to my lessons in the coming months.

The first is the traditional Locker Puzzle. I came across the Locker Puzzle a few years ago, although I first saw it under the name “A Thousand Lockers” from the Math Forum.  I recently found this exploration of the problem that James Tanton describes on his blog, Thinking Mathematics!, and I love what I read and saw. I can’t wait to try it with my students.

The second is a post from Nat Banting on his blog, Musing Mathematically. He posts a question, courtesy of Andrew Kelly, that tackles the concepts of surface area and volume. It is not the standard surface area and volume problem that I have seen, and although his work seems mostly to be with high school students, I think that it will be a great challenge for some of my grade 8 students.

The last is a great way to get your students excited for the Superbowl next weekend. This Superbowl lesson on Yummy Math leads students to investigate the cost of  advertisements for the Superbowl and how they have changed over the years.

Have a great week.

Systems in Action

Grade 8 Science No Comments »

I have accepted the fact that I am not superhuman, and so I cannot always accomplish everything that I want. There was a time where I would feel guilty for not writing for the past month or so, but I have become wiser and now understand that I must retain my sanity. Report cards and another school project (Climate Spark) have kept me on hiatus, but I am back…

We have begun our Systems unit in grade 8 science. I introduced the unit by having my students play Fantastic Contraption, one of my favourite online physics games. The site has been a little finicky lately, but my students still had a lot of fun with it. After they had a chance to play for a while, they shared some of their favourite designs with their classmates. I then showed some videos of neat inventions that work as systems. First, we watched a few videos that highlight the innovations of Theo Jansen, creator of PVC sculptures in the Netherlands (see the BBC news video and the Ted Talk). Next I showed them some of the machines designed by Rowland Emett, which were used by the character Caractacus Potts in the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. This week I will also show them some examples of Rube Goldberg machines, videos of which can be found on my July 3 post. When we are a little further in the unit I will share some websites for work and mechanical advantage.

Until then, have a great week.

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