It’s that time of year again – in online and print publications everywhere we see the top posts of the year – I’ll include my own in my New Year post. A tradition of my own (actually I am not sure I can call it a tradition as I only started it last year!) is to look at the least popular posts and pages on my blog! It is a useful exercise as it can lead to tidying up / fixing broken links / deleting posts which are no longer relevant or dated and gives me ideas for new and I hope improved versions! Looking at some of these posts and pages though I think some are still worthy of attention – so in no particular order – from the WordPress statistics for 2012: some of the less popular posts and pages!
Words with WolframAlpha – WolframAlpha is rather good with Words as well as Mathematics! Try ‘minus’ for example and you will see you have the option to choose minus as a character, a word or a mathematical definition. Related links and reference materials are also included. If you choose to look at a word definition you will also get a word frequency history and the Scrabble score!
Staying with the subject of words why not give your class a spelling test (turn the sound on)?! UK teachers – the new Teachers’ Standards for 2012 includes Literacy as well as numeracy (see Part 1 – 3).
Thinkfinity – now here is a perfect example of a post which I realised had links which no longer worked! That has now been corrected. I do like that Marble Mania resource (from Illuminations) I found through this site.
Mathematical Images – If you or your students ever need Mathematical images are your students aware of copyright issues?
Mathematics Songs – I used this list myself recently when one of my students asked what are Platonic Solids? If you have never heard the Klein Four then do listen!
Sequences – Updated and corrected. If you want to annoy your students try a few of the usual linear / quadratic sequence questions – then give them the first few terms of the eban sequence!
Dancing the Bubble Sort still makes me smile. I have updated the post with the addition of the wonderful Beautiful Dance Moves image.
1000 problems – now I know this is viewed from one of my other blogs (Starters and Plenaries) but it’s definitely worth a look if you have not used it before.
….and apologies if you received an email with a new post ‘Sketchcast’ – trying to delete the Sketchcast post I clearly failed! (For anyone wondering what Sketchcast is – it used to work and enabled you to share handwritten images easily – but there are may other options available – see Online Whiteboards which certainly doesn’t come into the less popular category as it is consistently one of the most popular posts here!)
Now feeling very tidy – throwing stuff out, including old blog posts is quite therapeutic!
A consistently popular post on this blog is ‘Lovely Puzzles‘ which has links to many puzzle sites which include mathematical puzzles. This seems a good time of year to investigate some of these further. A good puzzle for Christmas Eve perhaps (or any day!) would be ‘Make 24’.
Can you make 24? You must use all the numbers once and you are allowed the four operations and brackets.
(Further information and solutions for Make 24 and other Number puzzles are listed on the Number page on Mathematics Games). Number puzzles like this can make excellent starters.
Other possibilities for puzzle-type lesson starters come from Erich Friedman who has a variety of Mathematical Puzzles; try his Weird Calculator Puzzles for example or these Number Formation Puzzles both of which would make ideal ‘Bell Work‘.
Another great collection comes from Simon Tatham, I have been enjoying his ‘Untangle’ puzzles (which I must remember for the next time I teach Graphs in Decision Mathematics!); it is possible to change the number of nodes – use the Type menu.
Whilst many teachers use Suduko and Kenken type puzzles (note that teachers can sign up to receive free weekly KenKen puzzles), perhaps less familiar is Rogo which is very easy to learn.
This post has taken some considerable time to write as I have been very happily distracted by all these lovely puzzles – including joining the dots (from Conceptis Puzzles) something I used to love doing as a child!
Mr Collins’ blog post about being a stationery geek reminded me that I am also a stationery geek! It also reminded me of all the wonderful free online stationery resources.
I have compiled a Diigo list of these resources – the list (Stationery) along with several other (I hope – useful) lists are on the I’m Looking For…useful links page.
To highlight some of the resources on the list:
From Nrich we have a variety of printable resources and interactives. These include some very useful resources such as the circle template illustrated.
Teacher Resources Online includes in the Basic Materials section several coordinate grids. A considerable variety of other resources are available including nets for calendars.
Several sites offer all the graph paper you could ever want including several choices for settings such as the type of paper (eg cartesian or polar), paper size and units. Some such as MathBits offer specialist grids such as trigonometric templates.
I have also included sites offering graphic organizers on the list. These could be used for students to see what they can remember about a topic for example or to outline the steps of an algorithm. See Diagrams on Digital Tools for further resources for creating online diagrams such as mind maps (student version of the page here).
Select the image then different parts of the diagram to see what happens!