Thursday, January 7, 2010

Things That Make Me Go "Hmmm..."

From Dan Meyer's Blog How Do You Turn Something Interesting Into Something Challenging? and the idea of lowering mathematics into the discussion s l o w l y. First thought that jumped into my head? I suck at teaching math.

From Kate Nowak's Blog Soldiers in the War on Innumeracy and the link to the Verizon Math video. I watched this video with my 8th grade son last night, and I think he wants to join this War.

The closest I have come to this nirvana is using this video when discussing the Prisoner's Dilemma and other Game Theory ideas with my Mathematical Games class last semester.


  1. I like the video as a great way to clarify the PD concept. It's Cramer from our discussion on dy/dan's blog. I created a fantasy football league for my family this past season to combine my 2nd grader's interest in football with me wanting him to see math outside of the classroom. That is exactly what he realized during the season. His selections based on "big-time name" at the beginning of the season were not where the points were coming from. I'm just not sure about the return on investment for Algebra II students. Did you do any what-if scenarios in your classes? For instance, if Brady had thrown a 65-yard TD pass to Welker, would that have allowed 1st Period Team B to beat 3rd Period Team D? That's the on-going use of this I can't get past.

  2. The 8th graders who participated in the league did twhat-if sorts of thing all the time without my prompting. I think that is one of the things that led to their wanting to improve the formula.

    I think beyond that, the league was more of a social event that had some math by-products. Our draft would be on the opening night of the season, we would gather and hold the draft, then watch the game and eat pizza. I still laugh when I think about the drafts...these kids would go through BIG productions...placards for their tables with their team names...reams of fantasy forcasts...priceless.

    The weekly stats used to be published in the USA today every Tuesday. I would cut and paste the stats for everyone, and we would get together at 6:30 am for juice, doughnuts, and stats. Remember...these are 8th graders. They LOVED this stuff. I still see some of these students around and they STILL talk about the league. Do they remember the math? Probably not. But they DO remember how the league made them feel, and THAT is what counts.