games graphing numeracy

Graphing Literacy

My school division has been pushing literacy for a few years now. The division priority has filtered its way down into many programs at the school level. As a basic premise, if students are exposed to literate people and perform literate activities, their skills will grow. 

As the term is dissected, it seems that every stakeholder can find a way to skew the term to mean that their discipline is a crucial part of being literate. Reading and writing skills are an obvious avenue, but the ideas of technological and social literacy have emerged as important parts of every student’s school experience. Riding shotgun to these ideas is the idea of Mathematical literacy–Numeracy. 
classroom structure logic numeracy tasks

First Day Tasks

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
This is naturally true, and although I don’t believe that you can build or destroy a successful semester in one class, it is definitely important to put your money where your mouth is on the first day. I have spent the past few days digging around my materials for the best possible starter activities.
I had some very helpful responses from the twitter-verse, and it prompted me to somehow sort out the information being provided to me. In the past, I have had very productive lessons on the first day. Not productive in the “coverage”sense, but rather in the “intriguing” sense. My goal was to define a set of characteristics that, in my opinion, create a suitable opening day problem.
estimation numeracy tasks

Large Number Numeracy

Gigantic numbers are all around us. This has never been more apparent since the US Debt ceiling became a major issue. The facts and figures are thrown around by the news, and joked about on Late Night television to the point where their potency is diluted. Not many Americans seriously understand what a trillion dollars is. That statement can be broadened to include all earthlings. The comprehension of large numbers is a very interesting task, especially given the role that the media plays in our students’ lives. 

numeracy probability statistics

The “Nearly” in Mathematics

Mathematics is the purest form of science, or at least that is what they tell us in university. This ideology carries over into the school staff; it wasn’t long until another member of the staff referred to me as a “math guy”. As much as this label is also self-imposed, I still struggle to understand what it means. The labels “english guy”, “phys-ed guy”, and “science guy” all persist within the building as well, but there is something that about the title of “math guy” that gets me.

numeracy ratios tasks

NHL Dream Team

My thoughts have begun to turn to the new school year that will occur in August. This may be jumping the gun, but I like to enter prepared. This is partly due to the possibility of job action, and the surety of football, in the fall. I like to spend the first couple days of school working on basic numeracy skills with my grade 9s and 10s. I find a nice task is much more effective than a few worksheets. I do, however, keep a supply of worksheets on hand to offer to kids who just want the assignment. This idea came to me while I was reading an old edition of “The Hockey News” earlier this year. It has been taking up space on my desk, so I figured blogging about it would allow me to file it away for the beginning of next year.

inequalities numeracy systems of equations

When School Math Falls Short

Warning: the following post contains algebra; I just thought I should be transparent. If three-space, divisibility, or inequalities make you queasy, please escape while you can. This afternoon, I was re-united with an old problem that I had managed to shunt into the back of my memory. Maybe because I remember it being incredibly frustrating, but (most likely) because it doesn’t fit nicely into a niche of school mathematics. 

The problem is summarized as follows:
You need to buy exactly 100 pets. You have exactly $100 to do so. Dogs cost $15, Cats cost $1, and Mice cost $.25. How many of each pet do you have to buy?
(You must buy at least 1 of each)
factors fractions numeracy tasks

Fractions From Digits

This week marked my baptism by fire into the twitter world. It was not long until I was neck deep in tweets, favourites, re-tweets, and followers. The eternal nerd awoke inside me when I was confronted with my first NCTM “Problem of the Day”. A simple, yet dangerously deep, question was posed. Wanting to cement my reputation as a responsible twit, I sat down and began to tinker with the theory.

The question was as follows:
How many different fractions can you write using only the digits 1,2,3 & 4?
Be sure to include fractions greater than 1.