Friday, May 15, 2015

Having Fun With Math Vines (or the Grapes of Math!)

Spatial Reasoning is such an important component of Math yet it is often overlooked. Too often, Math teaching rushes to abstract symbolic representations of certain concepts at the expense of pictorial representations. Recently, I've been working with my fellow Math consultants to make some Math Vines. These seem to have struck a positive chord with teachers and students alike in allowing them to truly appreciate these concepts. It is worth remembering that many math concepts (e.g. the Pythagorean Rule, completing the square) were first discovered geometrically and only later algebracised. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a Vine worth? 
Over the next few months we are hoping to build a bank of these. They are fun to make (get your students to make some!) though sometimes I do find the six second time limit a bit restricting. Do let me know what you think of these.

This next one we might use as a Minds-On when learning about the area of a parallelogram:

When students are asked to complete the square, do they know what this actually means?

Using snap cubes can help students develop a much deeper understanding of slope and y-intercept.

And this is my first Vine: the difference between two squares!

You can follow our progress on our Vine account, Math Vine a Day.