Thursday, 30 July 2009

Carnival Of Maths 55 (i think...)

Err, right. I'm popping my carnival cherry, had no write ins, so this is just a few stuff i've seen or liked. Some of this may seem really old or basic, but i'm not gonna apologise for that. I'm sorry, that's just the way i am (C) Homer J Simpson. Is it really arrogant to put something of mine in? And first? This guy must love himself!

Well to be fair this isn't mine, my old economics teacher showed it to me, but i've never seen an activity that works for pretty much every kid (and i teach abilities ranging from 16 year olds who can't tell the time to 11year olds who are happy solving quadratics) it's called Lobsters. Basically, split your class into teams tell them they run a lobster fishing business for the day. Options are simple-they start with 6 lobster pots, which they can choose to put in the shallow area or the deep area (or split between eg 5 shallow, 1deep). Simples, eh? If it's good weather, anything in shallow gets u £2, anything in deep gets u £5. No brainer, right, bung em all in deep! But if it's bad weather, anything in deep gets destroyed so they get no money for it (plus they lose that pot). Demand and supply dictates that anything in shallow now will be worth more-£6. Weather forecast says a 1/3 chance of bad weather, we decide this by rolling a die after the teams have placed their pots for the day. At any time during the game teams can buy more pots at £3 each. That's the game, kids r responsible for keeping their own accounts and r fined if they make banking errors, winners are the ones who make most profit. Some teams play it safe, some teams blow their budget buying loads of pots some go for a high risk strategy (with brighter kids i tend to offer a loan at a Rate of 10%per day). Try it, it is superb. Cheers mr Jervis!

Right, that was like the bag of Doritos u sneak while waiting for the taxi, onto to main course!

Over at futility closet a blinding old puzzle called petals around the rose-i love this because for some reason my weaker students tend to crack it before the more able ones.

Dan kicks summer school off with a great idea for getting kids to understand why we name lines and points the way we do-i've already nicked this and used it when teaching loci!

Not a maths site by any means, but there's an idea waiting for a lesson at begs ideas of break even points, and is an abject lesson for any poker player about not getting pot committed.

I don't know if this is cheating as the number warrior submitted this idea about applying probability to the math teachers at play carnival, but i loved it so it's going in here.

Slightly off topic, but from an education point of view this article in the ny times about soccer players struck home with me, deliberate practise indeed.

A fab article from freakonomics showing a relationship that initially seems counter intuitive.

This compass activity constructing Kenny from South Park is something kids in my school love doin (link now active!)

Project dragonfly is a great tool for making plan views and 3D visualisations of a home, but the presence of measurements makes it a great tool for working with area and perimeter.

The math hombre collects a few very good links to different kinds of math related media

This youtube vid begs all kinds of questions about rates of change as we see the world's fastest, well, everything!

SquareCircleZ has a good collection of math software but i've not explored it all yet.

And finally, this has very little basis in curriculum, but my kids dug the fact that a wombat has geometric doody.

Right, thanks for reading, hope I've not screwed it up too badly.


Ted said...

Thanks for resuming the Carnival. I've missed them.
For what it's worth, I think you did great!

Ryan said...

Cheers fella, glad you didn't hate it (despite my appalling spelling - just read through this and was horrified at my inability to write...)!

Efrique said...

having seen plenty of wombat poo, I can vouch for it being remarkably cubical.

NOT square, like the link said - and not "perfectly" either, but surprisingly close for something coming out of a digestive tract.

Ryan said...

Efrique, I can safely say that is the first time i've ever read a comment begninning with the phrase "having seen plenty of wombat poo"... Well played sir!

annarita said...

Thanks for the effective summary :) I have long been following the Carnival of Mathematics. There is a lot of resources to explore.


Ignoramus said...

Nice one, sir! Any idea where the next Carnival will be? Is there a site that lists the rota?

Ryan said...

No idea about the next carnival - the rota is officially at but this hasn't been updated since April. Another good carnival would be the math teachers at play, the rota for this can be found at and is updated frequently.