Friday, October 2, 2009

Math Teachers at Play #16

Welcome to the October 2, 2009 edition of math teachers at play.

Kendra presents Learning Clock Face posted at Pumpkin Patch. Kendra shows you how to turn the analog clocks around your house into teaching tools, complete with a printable template, instructions and pictures.

Jason Dyer presents What Can You Do With This? (As Slow As Possible) posted at The Number Warrior, saying, "Two part post regarding a remarkable musical performance." Part 2 of What You Can Do With This (As Slow As Possible) reveals the secret and application of this music piece.

About teaching

Lisa Taylor presents Educating Parents about Online Education posted at Online Accredited Degrees. I think online courses are a big part of the future of education, especially when students will want or need to take courses that are not available locally.

Anne Simone presents 100 Best Blogs for Econ Students posted at Online Universities Weblog. Great starting point for economics teachers or other teachers brainstorming an economics lesson or unit.

Jimmie presents Mathematicians are People, Too posted at The Curriculum Choice, saying, "This is a book review of the popular biographies Mathematicians are People, Too (volumes 1 and 2)."

Pat Ballew presents Student Confusion about Order of Operations posted at Pat'sBlog. A great reflection on the acronyms and other methods of teaching this fundamental idea--I personally like GEMDAS (G = grouping).

Sue VanHattum presents The Joy of Tutoring posted at Math Mama Writes.... I just started a tutoring job and I feel as excited as Sue does in this post (stay tuned for a post on that soon).

Kate Hopkins presents 99 Awesome Firefox Add-ons for Educators posted at Online Courses.

Algebra & geometry

John Golden presents Angles posted at Math Hombre, saying, "About angles and the teaching of angle as a concept, and the early approach to angle measurement. Including both elementary-middle activities and how I present it to preservice teachers."

John Cook presents How many trig functions are there? — The Endeavour posted at The Endeavour. Did you know some people say there are 6, 12, or that they don't even exist? No? Then you have something new to learn.

MIke Croucher presents The unreasonable ineffectiveness of factoring posted at Walking Randomly, saying, "Using Mathematica to look at how few quadratic equations can be solved by factoring." Mysteriously, in the world of textbooks and standardized tests, 80% of quadratics that can be solved by factoring.


Ashley Allain presents Calculating Kinetic Energy posted at HyperHomeschool, saying, "Interdisciplinary activity focusing on applications of order of operations, exponents, multiplication and division as they relate to the physical sciences. Hopefully, fun too!"

Bill James presents Alternative Math Methods posted at Discrete Ideas, saying, "Teaches an alternative long multiplication method, as well as discussing the fact that such alternatives exist."

Denise presents Do Your Students Understand Division? posted at Let's play math!, saying, "Finnish researchers gave a challenge problem to high school students and pre-service teachers, and they concluded that “division seems not to be fully understood.” No surprise there! I wondered how my own students would handle the puzzle..."

Elementary concepts

Rachel Miller presents Learning Fun with Apples posted at, saying, "This would be more preschool based. We are homeschooling for preschool and learning the concept of fractions while eating apples."

Ryan O'Grady presents Negative times negative posted at Maths at SBHS. Great idea about using funny videos to explain the concept.

Host Selections

The Innovative Educator presents Game-Based Learning Site for Innovative Math Educators - I feel like we're getting closer to turning the corner in the development, use and integration of high quality educational video games into schools. We're not there yet, but it's only a matter of time before the mainstream game and console makers start working with educators directly.

Craig presents Qualities of a Good Math Teacher at Approaching Infinity. He shares the results of a first day of school survey and reflects on what his students' responses mean for the big picture.

mental_floss presents Brain Games from mental_floss Blogs. If you're looking for a source of new puzzles and brain teasers for your students to solve, you'll find at least five new ones per week here.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of math teachers at play using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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