Have you ever tried to make the ordinary, extraordinary in Maths?
Noodles, Knitting and Gaffer Tape
As a Teacher Trainer and rabid Tweeter Teacher I am always “magpieing” ideas and suggestions or chipping in with my own thoughts and ideas for others…”have you seen this “or “try this out”.
One of the sessions within my Subject Knowledge Enhancement programme involves creativity and ordinary things.
Giving people a range of everyday objects such as pegs, a beach ball, paper plates and cups, wool and asking them “what maths can you do with this?” takes people out of their comfort zone but can yield some really great and creative ideas.
Recently on Twitter there was a call for help…What maths can I do with swimming noodles?” You know what a swimming noodle is…one of those really long foam tubes which people swing around in a swimming pool…very annoying!
This reminded me of giving trainees knitting needles…and every Euclidian postulate on straight and parallel lines is right there. Same ideas with swimming noodles, just on a larger scale. You can explore geometrical proof with degrees in triangles and on a straight line, vertically opposite angles, transversal line angles, interior and exterior angles and even Pythagoras’ Theorem.
NB…as a side issue, the maths of knitting needles is something else…why are they the sizes that they are? Love knitting…love maths but I digress…
Swimming noodles and knitting needles also links to activities with gaffer tape taped onto a table top in various ways which has recently appeared on Twitter courtesy of @JBattenPE
— James Batten (@JBattenPE) October 17, 2014
and then the culmination in an angle chase via resourceaholic.com and @MathedUp
— MathedUp! (@MathedUp) July 23, 2015
All of these ideas simply prevent the maths in a different way other than a in a textbook and small drawings.
So get those swimming noodles out of the pool and into class…best place for them! I’m off to paddle my canoe…