Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mathematics from the masses #4

Each month I collect some of the gems from the web that relate to mathematics.  This month there are fewer links than previously - maybe I’m just becoming more selective...


So you think you know how to teach mathematics?
  • Mathematics curricula all over the world require teachers to teach with rigor.  But what does it mean?  This brief and insightful piece by NCTM President Linda M. Gojak sheds some light on what it should mean.
  • Every successful teacher knows that motivated students learn more and more easily than less engaged students. But how do you motivate students in the mathematics classroom. This info from nctm has some useful tips, more correctly they are   philosophical positions that generate teacher behaviour that all teachers could benefit from adopting - and not just in mathematics classes.
  • This post at mashable features 8 videos with a mathematical theme showing how much fun can be had with mathematics.
  • Another piece from nctm, this time showing how conservation of materials at school can save money.  Most of the ideas are not fully fleshed out - but a bit of creative thought could spark a series of “How much money could we save by...” questions.

Resources
  • ICT Magic is a site dedicated to the use of technology to enhance education. This link goes to a section devoted to some worthwhile maths games etc.

Hmm....
  • I’m really not sure which side of the fence I’m on with this issue - mobile phones in classrooms. Education Week reports on a study that finds up to 39% of middle school students in the USA use their smart phones for help with homework - yet only 6% are allowed to access their devices during class time.  I’ve taught high school classes so I understand the reasons behind the ban during lessons - but I also understand that smart phones are very powerful devices, most have more computing power than the combined computing power in the control room at NASA during the moon landing.  Surely we can use these resources in some way?
  • This piece at Slate tells us that there is now a “new” largest known prime. Discovered by Curtis Cooper of the University of Central Missouri it is  257,885,161-1 - a number so large that it apparently takes 17 425 170 digits to write it.  If you want to get a sense of that click here.  Some interesting discussion and background in this piece - well worth a browse.

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Credits:
All links go to original sources.
Image via google images.

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