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Math Puzzles from Math Pickle

           What it is: Math Pickle is one of my very favorite math sites.  It goes WAY beyond your traditional math drill and skill games or math problem worksheets, and has students looking into challenging problems, and having fun doing it.   Math Pickle features mathematics videos for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade.  The videos feature real students engaging in inspiring math problems and puzzles.  The videos often speak to unsolved math problems throughout history that students work to solve.  In the unsolved problem, students must use developmental level appropriate math to work out the problem.  Math Pickle is the brain child of Dr. Gordon Hamilton who wants to abolish elementary mathematics as a subject and push the idea that problem solving is at the very heart of mathematics. Recently Gordon (Gord) sent Anastasis Academy his curricular puzzle books.  They are beautifully done!  The puzzle books reveal the beauty in nature that is mimicked in mathematics, math in machines, and slicing fruit based on symmetry.  Our students (and teachers) immediately picked up the books and started flipping through the pages, filled with pictures of insects, fruit, and machines.  They didn’t believe me when I told them they were math books!  The students saw puzzles and problems to be solved and were eager to jump in and do just that.  The BEST way to learn math skills. The curricular puzzle books are available in PowerPoint form (for projector-connected computers or interactive whiteboards), as PDF documents, or as a Keynote file.  The free files are wonderful for whole class instruction and exploration. You can also purchase the books.  They include higher resolution images and, as I said, they are beautiful! How to integrate Math Puzzles from Math Pickle into the classroom: Any time students spend solving engaging problems is a win in my book.  These Math Puzzles give students opportunities for problem solving, trial and error, and exploration.  The Math Puzzle books help students start seeing math with new eyes, they start understanding that math is all around them.  Math is in nature, inventions and games.  It makes our world beautiful. Students who love nature and art will be particularly drawn to these puzzles. The puzzles make excellent whole class challenges or center activities.  The books are appropriate for 1st through 8th grade and cover topics such as: Pattern Problem Solving Multiplication Problems with multiple solutions (not the typical one answer only they are all used to) Mirror symmetry Rotational symmetry Prime Factorization These are a great way to stretch the brain and discover that there are multiple ways to approach a problem. Tips: Thank you, Gord!  We love the books and are enjoying problem solving and exploring! Please leave a comment and share how you are using Math Puzzles from Math Pickle your classroom!  

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NBC Learn: Science behind the news

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 08-05-2013

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What it is:
NBC Learn has some fantastic free resources for teachers and students.  One of these freebies is called Science Behind the News.  In partnership with the National Science Foundation, NBC explores the science, technology and engineering found in current events.  Here, you will find a collection of videos that introduce students to the science found in the world around them and current events.  Students can learn about everything from quantum computing, to predictive policing, to crowdsourcing and weather phenomenon.  Each video is around 5 minutes long and are well produced.

How to integrate NBC Learn into the classroom:  I am a HUGE fan of embedded learning.  Learning that is in context just makes sense.  The learning is richer because students are able to make real connections to the foundational understandings that they already have.  In addition, this type of learning gives them an idea of how the learning that happens in the classroom is connected to life.  With Science Behind the News, students are able to see connections to the world right now.  These clips encourage students to be curious about the world around them, and to dig into the bigger “why” of how things work.  I like the thinking that is encouraged here.  It is really modelling curiosity beyond just passively listening to a news story.

These clips are a wonderful way to kick off a new science unit, as a resource during inquiry, or for students and classes just to explore.  Students can use these clips as a starting point for further research, a “spark” for more learning.  Each student could choose a different video to watch and then conduct some research to learn more.  Where else is the science used?  How has our thinking about a topic changed over time as we have learned more about it?  What math is involved?  Help your students to see that subjects don’t happen in isolation in real life.  Science is connected with social studies, math, literacy, history, sports, art, economics, discovery, etc.  Can they find the overlaps in learning?

Tips:  NBC Learn has other outstanding resources including: science in golf, science in hockey, science in football, chemistry now, fishing the dream, sinking the titanic, science of the winter Olympics, science of the summer Olympics, writers speak to kids and science in innovation.  Check them all out!

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Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  NBC Learn in your classroom.

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