Category Archives: Math Minute

#57: Polyhedron

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 1.20.10 PMAn icosahedron is a polyhedron that has twenty triangular faces.  A stellated icosahedron has each of those faces raised to a triangular pyramid.

Wow!  There’s a lot of big words in that sentence!  Find out more about polyhedrons by visiting this website: http://www.mathsisfun.com/geometry/polyhedron.html

How can you spend your Math Minutes this week?
  • Post a comment and share something new you learned about polyhedrons.  You are not limited to the website listed above.  When posting a comment, use your first name and school (i.e. Tyler, Sunset).  Do not publish your email.
  • Make a Modular Origami Stellated Icosahedron by following these directions: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Modular-Origami-Stellated-Icosahedron  Email a picture of your completed stellated icosahedron to your school’s EY Coordinator.
  • Find instructions for making other polyhedron.  Here is one resource: https://www.korthalsaltes.com/  Email a picture of your completed polyhedron to your school’s EY Coordinator.
  • Post a comment and answer the question:  How is origami related to math?  When posting a comment, use your first name and school (i.e. Tyler, Sunset).  Do not publish your email.
  • Find instructions to make an origami animal using the WWF Together app on your iPad.  Email a picture of your completed origami animal to your school’s EY Coordinator.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 2.23.48 PM

We will post pictures of your origami creations on our Student Showcase Wiki.

 

#56: Math and Animation

In the Numberphile and TED Ed videos linked below, Tony DeRose from Pixar talks about 3D animated characters and the math involved to make them look so smooth.  It turns out there is a TON of math behind some of our favorite animated films, and it starts with some of the math learned in middle school!

How can you spend your Math Minutes this week?
  • Watch the videos linked below and then post a comment sharing something new you learned about math and animation.  When posting a comment, use your first name, grade, and school (i.e. Tyler, 5, Sunset).  Do not publish your email.
  • After watching the videos, click on this link and answer the questions.
  • Create your own animation using an app on your iPad.

Numberphile Video:  http://tinyurl.com/ndvpup7

TED Ed Video:  http://tinyurl.com/onqhkxk

#55: Coordinate Geometry

coordinates

Coordinate Geometry is one of my favorite areas of math.  There’s just something about getting a sheet of order pairs and carefully plotting them on graph paper…connecting the dots to reveal a picture.  If that’s your sort of thing too, check out Option 3 below.  Happy plotting!

How can you spend your Math Minutes this week?
  1. Learn the basics of coordinate geometry by watching this video (you have to scroll down the page a bit).  Read through the text underneath the video too.  Post a comment about something new you learned.  When leaving a comment, type your first name, grade level, and school (i.e. Trevor, 3, Sunset).  Do not type in your email address.
  2. This video gives a musical explanation of the inventor of coordinate plane geometry, Rene Descartes.
  3. Print out (or have your teacher print out) these worksheets.  Plot the ordered pairs on the graph paper and reveal a warm surprise!  Take a picture of your completed drawing and send it to the EY Coordinator at your building.
  4. Hopscotch is a free programming app that utilizes coordinates plane geometry.  The video link below explains some basics of Hopscotch and another way to spend your Math Minutes this week.  NOTE: Due to app updates, the Hopscotch video may not match perfectly with the up-to-date-version of the app.  After watching the video, create your initials/name in Hopscotch.  Take a picture of your completed program and send it to the EY Coordinator at your building.  We would love to post it on our Student Showcase Wiki!

Link to Hopscotch Video Tutorial:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AY57Cmra18&feature=youtu.be

hopscotch

#54: Multiplication

Multiplication. It is one of the four types of operations you learned in math (along with addition subtraction and division). There are many different ways to multiply numbers. However, sometimes, multiplying really big numbers can be a challenge. Luckily, there are many different techniques you can use to solve large multiplication problems.

How can you spend your Math Minutes this week?

  1. Watch this video about multiplying using lines. Post a comment about something new you learned.  When leaving a comment, type your first name, grade level, and school (i.e. Trevor, 3, Sunset).  Do not type in your email address.
  2. Print out (or have your teacher print out) this worksheet. Use the method in the video to come up with answers to multiplication problems. You can check your answers on the second page of the worksheet. If you feel comfortable with those problems and want to try multiplying bigger numbers, then print out this worksheet.
  3. Want to learn another math trick? Watch this video for a way to check the answers to your multiplication problems you solved in the worksheets.
  4. Use the app Explain Everything to do the problems. Draw out the pictures and send them to your EY coordinator.

*Lesson inspired by multiplication lessons from East Asian schools

#53: Cribbage

IMG_8825

My family enjoys playing pitch,  31, sevens and trash.  However, my absolute FAVORITE game is cribbage!  It involves strategy and math, which is why I like it so much!

How can you spend your Math Minutes this week?
  1. Do you know how to play cribbage?  If so, leave a comment below with a “thing to remember” when playing cribbage.  When leaving a comment, type your first name, grade level, and school (i.e. Trevor, 3, Sunset).  Do not type in your email address.
  2. In cribbage, the Jokers are removed from the deck.
    • The Ace is worth 1
    • The face cards (Jack, Queen, and King) are each worth 10
    • The other cards (2 through 9) are each worth their number value
  3. Here are some of the ways you can earn points playing cribbage:

One of the ways to earn points in cribbage is to have cards that add up to fifteen.  In the picture below, the King and one of the 5’s make 15 so that is 2 points.  The King and the other 5 also make 15, which is another 2 points.  You might notice that there is a 5 that is face up on the deck.  This can also be paired with the King for 15 for another 2 points.  Finally, the three 5’s (2 in the hand and one on the deck) add up to 15.  This is an additional 2 points.IMG_8825When you have a pair of the same card, you earn 2 points.  The pair could be in your hand, or one of your cards could be paired with the card that is face up on the deck.  If you have 3-of-a-kind, that is worth 6 points.  In the picture above, there are two 5’s in the hand and one 5 face up on the deck.  Not only does that make 15, but it is also 3-of-a-kind which earns you 6 points.

A “flush” is when you have 4 or more of the same suit (clubs, spades, hearts, or diamonds).  If you had 4 hearts in your hand, you would earn 4 points.  If the card that is face up on the deck is also a heart, you would get 5 points.  The hand below shows 5 clubs so you would get 5 points.

Hand7

A “run of 3” is when you have 3 cards in numerical order.  You could also have a run of 4 or 5 cards.  Let’s say you had a 3, 4, 5, and 6 in your hand.  You would have a “run of 4” which is 4 points.  If the card on the deck was a 2 or 7, you would have a run of 5.  The hand below shows a run of 5.

RunOf5

The pictures below show several cribbage hands.  See if you can add up the points correctly!  Leave a comment with the “hand #” and an explanation of the total points.  You can also post a question if you’re not sure.  Check back often to see if all the hands are correctly totaled.

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What is another way you can earn points in a cribbage game?  Do a little research and post a comment.  Would you be interested in having a cribbage tournament?

#52: Super Egg

Numberphile is a YouTube channel that posts many videos about many different math concepts. The channel has numerous videos on many real life examples. It is a great channel to learn about concepts not necessarily taught in school. One video that the channel contains is about a super egg, or a superellipse.

How can you spend your Math Minutes this week?

  • Watch the video linked below and then post a comment sharing something new you learned about math, geometry and/or engineering.  When posting a comment, use your first name, grade, and school (i.e. Tyler, 5, Sunset).  Do not publish your email.
  • After watching the videos, click on this link and answer the questions.
  • Share this video with your parents, friends, and/or adults and ask them about real life uses of math

Numberphile Video: http://youtu.be/GznQgTdEdI4

*Lesson inspired by Numberphile video about superellipses

#50: Fibonacci Numbers

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144

What do these numbers have in common? What pattern do you see? These numbers are a part of what is known as the fibonacci numbers. Fibonacci numbers are found by adding the two previous numbers. So the number after 144 would be 233.

How can you spend your Math Minutes this week?

  • Read about the fibonacci numbers here. Read the about first three sections at least, you can read further on if you want.
  • Get graph paper and make a spiral using a fibonacci sequence, read through the previous link for reference.
  • These numbers can be found in nature. Can you think of other real life examples of fibonacci numbers?
  • Post a comment sharing something new you learned.  When posting a comment, use your first name, grade, and school (i.e. Tyler, 5, Sunset).  Do not publish your email.

*Inspired by a video by Vi Hart

#49: Cool Jobs that Involve Math

Yep! That job requires math!

Tony DeRose is a 3D animator at Pixar and in his TED-Ed video,  he talks about how math plays an important role in his job.  Nafees Bin Zafar is also in the movie making business.  He is a visual effect expert who has helped create some of the most memorable smashes, crashes, and dashes on the movie screen.

How can you spend your Math Minutes this week?
  • Read Cool Jobs: Math as entertainment from Science News for Students.   You can also download a .pdf version of the article by clicking here.  Pick out one of the jobs mentioned in the article and leave a comment about how math is used in their job.  When posting a comment, use your first name, grade, and school (i.e. Tyler, 5, Sunset).  Do not publish your email.
  • Magician Arthur Benjamin mentions that his favorite number is 2,520 because it is the smallest, yes I said smallest, number divisible by all the numbers 1 through 10.  Prove this on a piece of paper by doing all the division problems and then take a picture of it.  Send the picture to the EY coordinator at your building or send it to your teacher and have him/her forward it to the EY coordinator.  BTW…Arthur Benjamin has a super cool TED Talk.  Watch it if you have time!
  • Describe the difference between a 2-D and 3-D printer.  What are some advantages of 3-D printing?  If you had your own 3-D printer, what are some things you would like to make?  If you’re really interested in 3D printing, here’s a link to another Science News for Students article on that topic.  Feel free to leave a comment about something new and interesting you learned!
Math is so much more than a bunch of problems on a worksheet or even a series of problems on a website or app.  Begin to imagine the creative ways in which mathematics plays a role in a variety of careers!

#51: Good Will Hunting Problem

Today’s age is filled with a wide variety of forms of entertainment. Television shows and movies are some of the most common forms today. Usually we don’t associate math with these however there have been some movies and episodes with a focus on a math topic. One such movie is Good Will Hunting. The movie has a particular math problem in which an MIT professor claims it took him years to solve. The problem basically to draw all shapes that fit the description. There are ten shapes in total. MIT is one of the best universities in the world. Are you able to solve the problem that supposedly took an MIT professor a long time to solve in a day or less? Find out!

How can you spend your Math Minutes this week?

  • Watch the video linked below.  The video introduces the problem and explains how to solve it.  Pause around 2:30 so you don’t see the answers until after you attempt the problem.
  • After pausing the video, try drawing all 10 trees. You can check your answers near the end of the video in which he shares the answers
  • Post a comment sharing something new you learned.  When posting a comment, use your first name, grade, and school (i.e. Tyler, 5, Sunset).  Do not publish your email.
  • Share this video with your parents, friends, and/or adults and ask them if they can solve the problem as well

Good Will Hunting Math Problem

*Inspired by the movie Good Will Hunting

#48: Music and Math

Music_notes

Music is a powerful communication tool–it causes us to laugh, cry, think and question.  Music is also connected to math!  In this You Tube video,  drummer Clayton Cameron breaks down different genres of music and shows how different styles of music rely on math.

How can you spend your Math Minutes this week?
  •  Watch Clayton Cameron’s video and post a comment about something new you learned.
  • Read this article to find out how the Fibonacci Sequence shows up in music.  This article has even more connections to music and math.  After reading the articles, post a comment about something new you learned.  When posting a comment, use your first name, grade, and school (i.e. Tyler, 5, Sunset).  Do not publish your email.
  • If you’re a musician, you already know quite a bit about how math and music are related.  We’d love to showcase your work by posting something you created on our Student Showcase Wiki.  Write (or play) a piece of music and email a picture (or audio file) to the EY coordinator at your building.

image taken from pdclipart.org