Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Comments for Teacher - My Choice

Post #5

The post on Walking in Mathland blog I reviewed was all about nothing, as in the number zero. Natalie said that it is sometimes difficult to get her students to understand the concept of zero being neither positive or negative and that they would struggle with writing the term "none" in place of zero when dealing with ordered pairs and the slope of a line. She posted a short video explaining the origin of the number zero and how it evolved and was included in the numbering system.
I replied that I had sometimes had trouble explaining that concept myself especially to my 12 year old son who seemed to question everything! Another video, which was very lengthy (and hour) explained the number one. I plan on sharing this post with my son to help explain the whys of our simple number system.

Post #6

The post on Walking in Mathland blog I reviewed was all about mathematics in the media. Natalie imbedded several videos. She began by explaining that Pascal's triangle was used in one of the Sherlock Holmes new movies. She had just taught this topic a few weeks before so she showed the clip to her students to demonstrate how they would be exposed to math in the media! A few more clips were less inspirational because of their stereotypical "math is hard" tone. She did note that this topic would make a good term paper topic.
This topic would make an interesting research paper. As a math teacher I was crazy over the show "Numb3rs"! I do not watch much TV either but would not miss an episode of this show. And with Netflix and Hulu I can enjoy them over and over. There are great episodes involving probability. I would love to show some of these in class but some of them would not be suited for small kids. 
This one is really good to introduce simple probability: 

Post #7

The post on Walking in Mathland blog was about security. She stayed in a condo with a friend on Memorial Day weekend and her friend questioned the security of the keypad entry. Using math she put her friend's worry to rest. The code was 6 digits. So using the multiplication counting principle, there are 10 * 10 * 10 * 10 * 10 * 10 = 10 ^ 6 = 1,000,000 different codes. The odds of someone randomly punching in out code was 1/1,000,000 or simple said, one in a million. The probability showed that we were safe. Even if someone had the first three digits of the code that still left a 1/(10 * 10 * 10) or 1 in 10,000 chance of getting the last three digits correctly.
You have yet again posted something very real world about probability. This topic would be a great class opener to grab the student's attention. We could actually compare products from different companies to find which security keypads would provide the most protection for the home. Thanks for the idea!

Post #8

The post on Walking in Mathland blog was about finding humor in math. The author posted a slideshow of some of her favorite images she has pinned to her Pinterest account.
Thanks for sharing these! I find humor in math all the time and love to share it simply because I know so many people won't get the punchline. Is it bad to feel good because I feel like I am part of some special math nerd club? I'll look for your Pinterest Board!

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