Monday, March 18, 2013

What's the point?

Teachers act as if student interest will be generated only by diversions outside of mathematics. (page 89 of The Teaching Gap)
Some of my recent actions on social media can probably be directly related to reading the above words right before "pi day." For example:
I understand the desire to "make math interesting" but putting a decimal point between the month and the day of a certain date seems a bit of a stretch. I want people to have fun with math each-and-every day. This resulted in my creating a series of signs with this online generator.

While walking with my wife yesterday, we had the following exchange:

Kathy: How long are you going to do these signs?
Me: I don't know. How long does it take for something to become a meme (pause) or to become annoying?
Kathy: So you want other people to start making the signs?
Me: That was the idea. I want people to find math interesting daily.
Kathy: How many signs have you made?
Me: Three; so when does it get annoying?
Kathy: 3.14 (pause) and look at that, we're back to talking about pi.
Me: You might say we've come "full circle."

Today, I shared this sign.

1. I like your signs! I'll have to try one of those myself. Playing with today's date is one of my favorite ways to get my students creating their own mathematics: Math Warm-Up: Today Is February 4×3×2×1

2. Me too! You could even make a separate photo blog for them. I don't think they'd be annoying. (If I had seen your sign on 3/15 or 3-16, I would have 'shared' on facebook. Let's love math up every day.) :^)

3. These signs are great math conversation starters. I've used them to start my math class a number of times this year.

4. True story: I laughed out loud as I read this. Thanks for sharing. :-)

5. You made the signs with a generator? I thought you'd actually found some place which was doing that. (I know I'd go slightly out of my way to have a look on a daily basis, were that the case.) Funny enough, I didn't even notice the different symbols happening in between, so focussed was I on the words. ^^

6. A contrarian view of Pi Day:

http://ccssimath.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-life-of-pi.html

7. I too tire of that theory that math is only cool in word problems. Some of my most distracted moments come from simply solving puzzles. There's no real point to them, but the math behind them can be amazing and fun.

8. Here's someone continuing the vision: http://letsplaymath.net/2013/03/19/happy-square-of-a-square-day/

9. Found this post thanks to Sue "Math Mama" - and had to participate! Here are my contributions: http://www.moebiusnoodles.com/2013/03/happy-today-its-a-special-day/

10. I call shenanigans! You haven't come "full circle," you've only come "semicircle!"