A reminder that you can just type a function into Google and its graph will be returned!

Darth Vader on WolframAlpha – click on the image

WolframAlpha of course can show you some graphs of Easter eggs! I noticed whilst using WolframAlpha today random suggestions of queries popping up that somebody out there thought I might enjoy (very worrying how right they are!). This popped up – I had not realised that typing for example Darth Vader curve into WolframAlpha would give me just that!

Desmos polar curve, click on the image to experiment.

My favourite graphing calculator as regular readers will know is the outstanding Desmos graphing calculator. Preparing some resources for my Further Mathematicians I realised that one can use a slider within a domain thus making it possible to show the curve being traced out, particularly useful for polar graphs but also for any curves. (There are some useful resources on polar curves here for students including some further Desmos pages).

Desmos quadratic, select the image to experiment.

Experimenting with a quadratic graph, I have plotted some points and can then draw the curve through these points.

Freerice is owned by and supports the World Food Programme. For every correct answer 10 grains of rice are donated through the World Food Programme. Users can answer questions in several categories including two on Maths, one on multiplication and one on basic Maths. It is possible to play at various levels, so choosing level 10 for example means that questions on fractions and directed numbers will be included. Students can sign up (under 14s need parents permission) or login easily with their Facebook account to track their totals and join and create groups. Teachers can register a class, so this provides a way for teachers of much younger students to sign up their students.

Sporkle

Sporkle – you have 2 minutes to fill in the missing prime numbers!

Another site which includes a social aspect is Sporkle which has an extensive collection of timed quizzes in many subjects, many mathematics quizzes are available; I have linked to some here on Mathematics for Students. If you register you can create your own quizzes and give the link to friends. It is then possible to see how people get on with your quiz!

Brilliant

And last but certainly not least is a site which I came across recently which I think lives up to its name, Brilliant! Signing up to this site allows users to join an international community and get free weekly, personalised problems. Questions at various levels are available, including questions suitable for younger students.

Click the image to see similar problems

This would be an excellent site for any students preparing for participation in Maths challenges, particularly by using Brilliant’s Techniques Trainer. Brilliant are currently developing a “Teacher Level” that has a wider range of problems that can be shared which would make it possible to share problems from a number of different levels with students. (Post with link to Brilliant for students).

Perhaps time to remind everyone who enjoys these mental arithmetic games that there are plenty available they can still enjoy all year round. From Manga Higha multi-player option is available on Sundae Times which tests multiplication from 1×1 to 15×15 – play other students from round the world!

Note the comment from Shane Hill below, for 4 to 10 year olds. Shane Hill, the creator of World Maths Day has provided Core Skillsfor 4 to 10 year olds, this can be played on PC or tablet and is available free all year round. (also for Windows and iPad instructions here).

Sum Sense from Oswego City School District

Sum Sense from Oswego City School District. for example is a little different – arrange the given numbers to give a correct statement. If you like this game note that Sum Sense games are available for other operations, scroll down to the bottom of this collection.

I have been looking at Sumdog again recently, I like the way that the various skill levels can be restricted; the site is aimed at students aged 6 to 14 (having said that some of my Year 11 (age 15-16) students looked like they were rather enjoying themselves recently) so I want my secondary age students to practise the skills at the upper end of the age range and have currently restricted them all to levels 8, 9 and 10. It is possible to set up competitions so I thought I would try that this week with Year 10 as one of our many Enrichment Week activities. See the Teachers’ page.

….want to get to 60+, also need to learn a few cubes for level 5!

It’s World Maths Day on 6th March, which is actually a 48 hour period whilst it is 6th March somewhere in the world, you can check the times here. Registration is still possible as I write this but will close very soon I am sure. Make sure that your students are familiar with the rules; forWorld Maths Day the scores from 50 games, 10 at each of the 5 levels will count towards their total score though students can play as many games as they want to. The same login details will also be valid for World Literacy Day on 5th March and World Science Day on 7th March.

Talking of literacy, we should not underestimate the importance of vocabulary in Mathematics, there are some excellent resources online to help students with important terms, I have written a section for students here, Jenny Eather’s dictionary and the glossary for teachers, also the Mathisfun dictionary are all very useful resources. I often use these in class for key terms.

Still on the literacy theme, it’s World Book Dayon 7th March. There are many free Maths books online as you will discover with a little searching, see these for example. A couple of free books I have mentioned before but I think are worth another mention: ‘Street Fighting Mathematics‘ by Sanjoy Mahajan, with the excellent sub-title ‘The Art of Educated Guessing and Opportunistic Problem Solving’ (note the link on the left to the free Creative Commons edition under Essential Info). Another free book is a complete GCSE text from Clear Creative Learning, don’t be put off by the 2007 date – this is still useful, note the link to download a free pdf.
…and you could always write your own!