Category Archives: algebra

Systems of Linear Inequalities: Paleontological Dig

(Editor’s note: the original post and activity mistook Paleontology for Archaeology. Archaeology is the study of human made fossils; paleontology is the study of dinosaur remains. The terminology has since been corrected and updated. Thanks to the commenters for the … Continue reading

Posted in algebra, linear functions, linear inequalities, problem based learning, systems of equations, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Where inquiry and methods intersect

Had a nice, quick twitter conversation with Anna (@borschtwithanna) yesterday morning. Anna reached out with a question about providing methods in an inquiry-based classroom. If you teach PBL or PrBL, do you teach students standard algorithms too? @emergentmath @SchettinoPBL @NatBanting … Continue reading

Posted in algebra, scaffolding, tasks | 6 Comments

Larry Ellison, billionaire CEO, makes unsound business decisions with regards to his basketball playing on his yacht.

Larry Ellison, co-founder and CEO of Oracle, has gobs and gobs of money. How much money? Well enough that he can do this. Boy that seems wasteful, doesn’t it. I mean, when I’m playing basketball on my yacht and I … Continue reading

Posted in algebra, tasks | 6 Comments

Evaluating energy efficiency claims

Artifact This (or other) energy efficient light bulb package(s). So many opportunities here, depending on how targeted you want to be. Or, if you prefer, what kind of problem you plan to facilitate. There’s a clear nod to systems of … Continue reading

Posted in algebra, equations, estimation, stepwise functions, systems of equations, tasks | 7 Comments

CNET has some TV viewing size/distance recommendations.

Feels like there’s a similarity (and a lot of other stuff) type problem in here. Artifact From CNET:  In a perfect videophile world, you’d want to sit no closer than 1.5 times the screen’s diagonal measurement, and no farther than … Continue reading

Posted in algebra, proportion, systems of equations, tasks | 2 Comments

Why doesn’t Nike+ use math to encourage me to run?

Artifact The Nike+ app, which at the end of my run the other day, looked like this: (editor’s note: yes, I’m slow. Thank you for noticing. Also, along with some encouragement in data format, I had Tim Tebow give me words … Continue reading

Posted in algebra, statistics, tasks | 3 Comments

Thought Experiment: I bet you could teach an entire math course with this one graph.

Or at least a huge chunk of an Algebra, Stats, and/or Pre-Cal course.

Posted in algebra, atmospheric science, exponential growth, misleading graphs, sine waves | 1 Comment

Underground parking spots cost $30000-$50000 to build in D.C. This smells like a systems problem.

Artifact The Washington City Paper has a (rather lengthy) post on parking in D.C. Fair warning: it’s pretty wonky with zoning rules, ordinances, etc. However, the numbers caught my eye: … An underground parking spot costs between $30,000 and $50,000 … Continue reading

Posted in algebra, equations, systems of equations, tasks | Leave a comment

“Equation Ratscrew”

I used to love “Egyptian Ratscrew” (also called “Egyptian Rat Slap” for the more easily offended I suppose). We used to play it all the time in my Physics/Calculus class. It combined the speed of “Speed” with the ferocity of … Continue reading

Posted in algebra, manipulatives, tasks | Leave a comment

U-haul Linear Systems problem (updated and improved)

A couple weeks ago I posted this problem. I like the problem, but I wasn’t a huge fan of its solution and frankly, it sort of got away from me. Thankfully, my colleagues are more adept than I am at developing clear … Continue reading

Posted in algebra, linear functions, systems of equations, tasks | 3 Comments