There is two hour parking all around University of Saskatchewan. I once went to move my car (to avoid a ticket) and found that the parking attendant had marked–in chalk–the top of my tire. I wanted to erase the mark so began driving through as many puddles as possible. I then convinced myself to find a puddle longer than the circumference of my tire–to guarantee a clean slate and a fresh two hours.  As I walked back to campus, I got thinking about the pattern left behind by my tires. For simplicity, let’s take the case of a smaller vehicle–a …

Painting Tape

I came across the following situation while shopping for paint at a local home improvement store: Admittedly, the three varieties were not positioned like this, but this positioning does raise an interesting question. “We can see the packages are the same height, what is that height?” I see this question going one of two ways: The students realize that really any conceivable measurement is possible. (Barring, of course, zero and the negatives) One could make the argument that it also cannot be irrational, but this would be nit-picking. Can a roll of tape have a width of pi/6? Exactly? The …

I am frustratingly mathematical. Ask my wife. I see the world as a combination of, in the words of David Berlinski, absolutely elementary mathematics.(AEM). The path of a yo-yo, the tiles in the mall, and the trail of wetness after a bike rides through a puddle are all dissected with simple, mathematical phenomenon. The nice part about AEM is that I can talk about it to almost anyone. People are (vaguely) familiar with graphs, geometric patterns, and circles even if they can’t decipher what practical implications they have on their city block. Unfortunately, people (and students) don’t often want to …

Creating PBL 3.0

I have been on my project-based learning journey for a while now. This blog has served as the main receptacle for my inspirations, ideas, successes, failures, and reflections. It is now time to document my next step: wide scale revision. This post will be divided into two main sections: A look back at the posts that brought me to this point. (Reading them may provide some context, but not reading them will provide you with more free time…your call) A look ahead into my revisions and their rationale. I will describe the new administrative and assessment framework around the projects …

Project-Based Pitfalls

Those of you who follow me on twitter or read this blog regularly know I have been struggling to implement wide scale Project-based Learning (PBL) into my Workplace and Apprenticeship mathematics courses. This strand of classes is probably unfamiliar to those outside of Western Canada. I have included a link to our provincial curriculum below. You can skip to the outcomes and indicators to view which topics need to be addressed. (Page 33) http://www.education.gov.sk.ca/CURR/workplace-apprenticeship-math-10 Let me start out by saying that I think this is an excellent direction for high school mathematics. Some powers-that-be in Saskatchewan would like to see …