Sunday, August 14, 2011

Those #?%& Supermarkets: They're Out to Catch You

Nothing like the word Free to make you take notice at a supermarket. But of course there is always a catch since I have to buy at least one 16 oz. package for $3.99. So what I'm really paying for my free box of strawberries is $2.00! Now if I'm in the market for more than one package I might consider paying $2.00 per package. But since for me they go bad pretty quickly and I'll never finish the second box before it does goes bad, that really means I'm paying $3.99 for the box I actually eat! Wouldn't it be just plain old easier and more honest to leave the word "free" out if the sign read:
Get your students to find examples of this and to write the manager of a store that pulls this nonsense and see how the company tries to justify this deception.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Why the Chelsea Spike in the early 1990s?

In the early days of summer nature has a way of entertaining us with magical views of flowers in full bloom. A kind of neat phenomena that makes everyone who is not too busy take notice. A camera can capture such a scene in its full glory. Mathematical photos such as graphs can also reveal some interesting neat phenomena that can bring about similar rewards. At least it did for me when Kelvin Misco of Wolfram Research at their booth at the NCTM conference in April showed me what happens when you type the name Chelsea at the Wolfram Alpha website. You can do additional baby name investigations at this cool website. Type a name and see what happens. Students really like this one and will explore it in interesting ways without much help. I'm curious if any math teachers have used this. If you try it with kids let me know how it went.

The Ultimate Equation*

Source: New York Times
Talk about our country slip-sliding into global economic oblivion. Here's one that could set  education back to 1984 and Big Brother. I'd love to see how this formula correlates with human judgement of teacher skills. Watson beat the best jeopardy players, but would you spring him on your kids without human intervention?

*Originally posted on March 6, 2011 but not published.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What can you do with this* sign?

Wrap your brain around this one. Makes perfect sense. Doesn't it? I just checked on my calculator and the total is right. Even in Gold Hill over a 150 years ago they would have gotten an "A" for addition. But making sense out of things wasn't one of their strong points.

This sign - well actually one similar to this - gave me an idea for what I (or you) can do with this.

Here is what I did with it in a 6th grade math class. (Click here.)
* See #WCYDWT on twitter.