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Monty Python and the Quadratic Shrubbery

§ January 11th, 2012§ 1 Comment- Add yours§ Filed under From the Elevated Math Team, Other Voices, Teaching Math§ Tagged algebra, area, Elevated Math Team, Home Depot, Jahna Lindquist, King Arthur, Knights of Ni, length, middle school math, Monty Python, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, perimeter, problem solving, quadratics, real-world application, square unit, width

If you have taught your math students about perimeter and area, if you are ready to present them with an application challenge, and if they are into Pythonesque comedy (Do you know many middle schoolers who are not into the absurd?), consider showing this clip from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

After watching the clip, distribute the activity, “Monty Python and the Quadratic Shrubbery,” for your students to complete.

Applying newly learned math skills in a real-world helps students master those skills instead of just § Read the rest of this entry…

Finding Real-World Math Problems

§ August 2nd, 2011§ 4 Comments- Add yours§ Filed under From the Elevated Math Team, Teaching Math§ Tagged Application, David Wees, Elevated Math, eSchool News, insurgent attacks, Jo Boaler, Lewis Hall, Monty Python, NPR, quadratic functions, real-world, relevancy, sat, statistics, what's math got to do with it

Photography by Michael Gil

First in the list of things that students say they want from education, according to eSchool News, is “real-world application and relevancy.” When it comes to math education finding these real-world examples seems more of a challenge. I tried myself to find some, was stumped, and had to go back through the Elevated Math lessons to find problems that kids might find relevant. Next, I searched into my own life to find some more. And then, after my consciousness was alert to this task, all sorts of ideas began to surface.

I was reminded of a time when my daughter was young. With her strapped to a car seat in Los Angeles’ rush-hour traffic, we filled the time with a game. The objective § Read the rest of this entry…