Been getting a little heavy around here with classroom management, so let’s toss out something inconsequential:
- How People Count Cash? Turns out they don’t just talk differently in other countries. Also turns out Afghanistan has us beat on style.
- Old Spanish Castle Optical Illusion. Which blew our collective mind. To keep this inside the PowerPoint family (if you don’t want to mess with Java in the middle of class) put the inverted image on one slide and the black-and-white image on the next in exactly the same place. Look at the first for thirty seconds and then advance the slide.
- F–k Grapefruit. Pointlessly profane but completely cool. I blocked off the cartoonist’s suggestions and had them toss out their own, which turned into a total melee, students throwing stones at each other over the right y-coordinate for cranberries.
I realize this is totally soft math but I’ll absolutely defend the value of having these kids reframe their daily lives in mathematical terms. No one had considered fruit like this until today.
- Karate Slow Motion. A man shatters a brick at 4,000 frames per second, his entire forearm reshuffling itself grotesquely in less than a second. The kids insisted it was fake. I told them it wasn’t but I wished it was. Horrifying stuff.
- 41 Hilarious Science Experiments. Hardest I’ve laughed in several months.
And now back to your regularly scheduled handwringing.
2011 Aug 26: This is Dan from the future. It’s bizarre coming back to these posts where I didn’t realize I was teaching math with things like the tasty / easy graph. At this point, I’m still filing the things that will eventually define my career under a “Miscellaneous” category. I mean, look at that. The title of this post is “Anyway.” Like the tasty / easy graph isn’t one of the best introductions to the Cartesian plane ever. This is such a weird time capsule. Anyway. Here’s JL with some great comments on classroom implementation:
We started by graphing fruit on a coordinate plane where the y-axis ranges from “Tasty” to “Un-tasty” and the x-axis ranges from “easy to eat” to “difficult to eat.” Students were given 3 sticky notes and told to write a different fruit on each one. Then they went up and graphed them. They were asked to defend their ordered pair. If a student put Pineapple on the “easy to eat” side, there was an uproar of argument. Kids got really, REALLY into it.