Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Math tasks by Stanford University

It is interesting to find that colleges are doing more to help math teachers improve their classes.  From my entries, you know about the Center for Algebraic Thinking which provides modules and apps to use in the classroom.

Today, courtesy of one of the google groups I belong to, I discovered Youcubed at Stanford University in California.  I have trouble finding enough math tasks for my students to work through over the year. This location has math tasks for grades K to 12 and quite a lot of other things.

I found a 3rd grade glow in the dark geometry shapes.  I think it would be way too young for my high schoolers.  I checked out several apps that say they allow for the creation of glowing shapes but none of them worked out.  

Wood, Square, Green, Wooden, Block, Cube
On the other hand, I found another geometry task dealing with painting a 3d cube made up of smaller cubes.  The kids have to decide how many of the minicubes have 3 painted sides, 2 painted sides, one painted side, and no painted sides. I even checked out 3 D drawing apps that say they make the 3 D shapes but I couldn't find any that worked the way I wanted.

So then I thought of  animation or stop motion apps  to show how nets fold into the 3 dimensional shapes.  Not all students can visualize all the 3D shapes and move them around in their heads.  I like the idea of making small videos that students use to help them learn.  It could also be used to calculate surface area.  It might be more effective if I have them make their own video explaining how to calculate surface area and whether the minicubes of a 3d cube have 3 painted sides, 2 painted sides or one painted sides.

Back to the Youcubed website.  It also offers  free courses, ideas, information on apps, and other topics of interest to math teachers.  In the near future I am hoping to review other websites offering good math tasks.