Math Education Image and Idea Sharing Project

It’s exciting! I’m collecting more images for math instruction. Two reasons for this:

(1) So I can be more like Dan Meyer

(2) I have a halfway decent cell phone camera now.

But how should I organize them? And how can I increase my supply of them even more? And where can I get great ideas on how to use them?

How about here: “The Math Education Image and Idea Sharing Project”

Join us, and start sharing your Images and Ideas.

sharing example

Merv Mosher: Intro to Statistics

A great intro to statistics from Big Ideas.

Public Schools Outperform Private Schools in Math

According to this Science Daily article several factors have caused this result including more certified math teachers and a better curriculum focusing more on geometry, measurement and algebra. What exactly are they doing in private schools?

Graphing Parabolas.

I made a simple worksheet asking students to use graphing calculators to graph quadratic equations in sets of 4. For example, the first set was:


They were then required to sketch the graphs and write a statement about how the graphs were related by transformation.

The final part of the lesson was when I really stretched them. I created a powerpoint with images of graphs I had made using an online graphing calculator and asked students to make their calculator screens match my screen. Without having formalized rules for quadratic equations and graphs my students were able to do it, they discovered the rules and patterns.





1 Trillion Dollars

This is great. As math teachers especially, we know that numbers sometimes start to lose their meaning.

Graph Humor.

Here is one of the latest from xkcd:

And from graphjam:

Human Function Machines.

As a way to help students understand that a function is a relation where every input value has exactly one output value teachers and textbooks introduce the idea of a function machine. A machine is a very apt and relevant analogy, those of us who’ve dabbled in computer programming know the importance of the function to any programming language. How could a computer/machine output two values given a single input value, the machine would have to make a choice. And choice is entirely human.

So, it struck me. Why not turn my students into machines, after all, they’re very good at copying things and following procedures, but I digress.

Here’s the idea. Given a relation expressed as a set of ordered pairs, map, equation, or graph the teacher says an input value and the students must reply with the output value. I started by introducing only functions (I said “1” and they replied “2”, I said “2” and they replied “4”, etc.) then I put in a relation that wasn’t a function. Something different happened, students were saying different values or introducing the word “or” and “and.” With that, they understood, and were able to extend their understanding easily from list of coordinates to function maps and even graphs without the vertical line test.