Thursday, January 16, 2014

Would You Rather - Quick and Fun Math Lessons

Last month I shared a list of math lesson resources for middle school and high school teachers. At the end of the post I invited you to email me with suggestions for more resources. Jamie Rykse recently took me up on that and emailed me a great set of resources. Two of the items that jumped out at me from Jamie's list were blogs called Would You Rather? and Estimation 180.

Would You Rather? presents a picture with a mathematics problem that asks "would you rather?" The questions that I looked through all had a financial aspect to them. One of my favorite examples from Would You Rather? is this November 7th entry that asks "would you rather buy unleaded gasoline at \$3.49 per gallon with cash or at \$3.59 per gallon with a credit card that gives 3% cash back?"

Estimation 180 contains 180 pictures that contain a prompt to estimate something like height, quantity, or volume.

Applications for Education
In my email to Jamie I mentioned that Would You Rather? is a resource that I could see myself using in an Intro to Personal Finances course. Would You Rather? provides a great context for math lessons that students can relate to.

Jamie's email to me contained some other resources that I've included below as he described them to me.

Visual Patterns: http://www.visualpatterns.org/ by Fawn Nguyen
Math Munch http://mathmunch.org/ by Anna Weltman,  Justin Lanier, and Paul Salomon
• On the "For Teachers" page, the "Why Math Munch" gives an overview. Also includes link to a Tedx Talk they did.  Favorite quote: "We write Math Munch to help more kids find something mathematical that they love."
• I had the opportunity to room with Justin at Twitter Math Camp '13 and got to see first hand his passion behind the above quote.
• How Fawn Nguyen uses Math Munch in the classroom: http://fawnnguyen.com/2013/09/04/20130903.aspx
Really, if you are a middle school math teacher you must follow her.

Common Core Problem Based Curriculum Maps http://emergentmath.com/my-problem-based-curriculum-maps/ by Geoff Krall
• He has pulled together tasks and problems from others like fellow math bloggers and sites like the mathematics assessment project (a resource onto its own http://map.mathshell.org/materials/index.php)
• He created curriculum maps for grades 5 to Algebra 2 using those resources that you can use and modify to fit your needs.

All of these resources are from my limited participation in the Math Twitter Blogosphere (http://mathtwitterblogosphere.weebly.com/) #MTBoS.  If I were to meet a new math teacher, I would point them there and say participate as much or as little as you can handle. Be prepared for a fire hose of resources and many very kind math teachers putting themselves out there and sharing what they do. I would also encourage them to participate in a Global Math Department session (https://www.bigmarker.com/communities/GlobalMathDept/about).