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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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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…

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Does It Take a ‘Th.D.’ to Understand the Pythagorean Theorem or Just an Internet Search?

§ July 25th, 2011 § 1 Comment- Add yours§ Filed under Teaching Math § Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


“Back where I come from, we have universities, seats of great learning, where men go to become great thinkers.  And when they come out, they think deep thoughts and with no more brains than you have,” as stated by the Wizard from Oz in 1939.  According to him, a Th.D. diploma (Doctor of Thinkology) is all that is needed for Scarecrow to spout off the Pythagorean theorem (albeit his definition was slightly off).  I think my middle school math students would have supported the Wizard’s notion that it takes some kind of diploma to be able to understand the theorem and recite it, but that was before the days of the Internet.  Nowadays, anyone who has any  kind web-surfing device and web access can find a wealth of information about the theorem.  No diploma required!  Just do a Google, Yahoo or Bing search.

Newly posted on YouTube is an animated illustration and explanation of the theorem.  This is a short sequence from a lesson (M8.7) in the Elevated Math app. Another Elevated Math lesson (A18.4) uses the Pythagorean theorem in finding distance between two points. Elevated Math is in the App Store in iTunes.

In your Internet search you will find teaching videos that feature robotic teachers, boring lectures, great info with no people, waterwheels demonstrating the concept, Darth Vadar explaining the theorem,  and even § Read the rest of this entry…

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