I love collecting links to articles with fun math applications. Here are three of my recent favorites.
Creativity and math may seem completely incompatible. Math is when students follow predefined steps to arrive at an exact answer! Here are four ideas for quick math warmups that encourage students to use divergent, creative thinking.
Pi Day is just around the corner, but the typical fare include π art projects, memorization challenges, or other activities that separate π from its real uses. But π is such a fascinating topic that it should inspire curiosity and wonder on its own.
Attention kindergarten, first, and second grade teachers: You likely have a budding and brilliant mathematician among your classroom ranks! That child may sit quietly while the other students “catch up” and learn basic math concepts covered by early primary curriculum, or he might refuse to do the work and goof off during math time. This behavior may suggest that this child is behind, but the following points will help determine if this is a valid conclusion.
Many wrote in to add that showing work is important as a way of communicating to an audience. But, whether we realize it or not, the only audience many students are performing for is a test scanner. So, teachers, let’s put our money where our mouths are and give them a chance to experience that showing steps is vital to communication. And give them this chance daily!
I’m beginning to teach the dreaded geometry unit featuring complementary, supplementary, adjacent, and vertical angles. Historically a confusing topic, this year is going to be different. I’m going to use a new tactic: cooperative reasoning with a set of “clues.”
Looking for some ways to challenge your advanced mathematicians? If you’d like to keep them on the same topic as the rest of your class, consider increasing the complexity of your current unit. If they’re in need of more advanced curriculum to keep their creativity flowing, try to bring in novel ways of looking at math.
We must be careful not to admonish our intuitive learners for being intuitive. As teachers of the gifted, we must set up learning environments that are best for our students. And if they’re doing it all in their heads (and getting it right!), then the environment needs to change.
100%, 100%, 100%. If you’ve ever taught gifted students math, you’re probably familiar with those kids who can knock perfect scores out week after week. You’ve probably also questioned what good you’re doing for those students. A differentiated math program may be just what you need.