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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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Here is Today: a web app to put time in perspective

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Character Education, Evaluate, History, Inquiry, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 10-07-2013

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Here is today iLearn Technology

Here is today iLearn Technology

Here is today iLearn Technology

What it is:  Here is today is an interesting little web app that helps students visualize time in a new way.  Students start out by seeing a square and a title that says “here is today” with the current date.  When students click “okay” at the bottom, they are taken to a visual of the next step in.  Students can see where the day is falling within the month, the year, the century, the millennium, the epoch, the period, the era, the eon, the earth, life, oxidation, fish, insects, reptiles, mammals, birds, humans, and the universe.  Each stage of the graphic has an arrow pointing out how today (whatever day that happens to be) compares in the grander scheme of things.  Pretty cool!

How to integrate Here is Today into the classroom:  Here is Today is an outstanding way to help students understand where they are in place in time.  They can see where they are and then compare it to the larger history of the world and universe.  Obviously, this is a natural fit into a history or biology class.  Here is Today would also make a great object lesson in math and be great for studying comparison and scale.  It would also make for a great philosophical discussion as we realize just how minute the moment we are living in really is.

Here is Today is a great site for students to explore and inquire about independently.  What questions arise as they explore the site?  After students have investigated and come up with their own lines of inquiry, gather back as a classroom community and discuss those lines of inquiry and the thinking that led to them.  If you happen to follow the IB Primary Years Program, this fits in great to “Where are we in place and time” inquiry.

Here is Today would also be a useful visual on an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer where a class can observe and explore together during discussion.  The way that the site compares time is seriously smart.

Here is Today could launch an interesting creative writing assignment.  Invite each student to explore the site and to choose a view.  The story should be written based on the point of view and time that they chose.  This could be a new way to explore setting, time and theme.

Tips:  Here is Today reminds me a little bit of the Scale of Life site that I wrote about here.  Using these sites together could be pretty epic.  Talk about a great sense of our place in the universe!

Are you using Here is Today in your classroom?  Share your experience in the comments below!

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