Reflections: From Twitter to Twin Cities

Reflections is a monthly column for teachers, by teachers on topics of interest to mathematics educators: lesson plans, book/resource reviews, reflections on classroom experiences, and more. If you are interested in sharing your own ideas with mathematics educators in the province (and beyond), consider contributing to this column! Contact us at thevariable@smts.ca.


From Twitter to Twin Cities
Sharon Harvey

2016 August 4I’m convinced that my best learning happens when I listen to other teachers – when I hear their stories, try their strategies, and make lasting connections with them. This is exactly what Twitter Math Camp (TMC) is all about: It brings together 200 math/STEM educators from around North America to share with each other. It’s professional development for teachers, by teachers. To learn more about TMC, check out the website http://www.twittermathcamp.com/, as well as this archived post from the first TMC held in July 2012: http://www.twittermathcamp.com/tmc-archive/tmc2012/genesis-of-tmc2012/ This year’s camp was held at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN from July 16-19.

But I don’t want my post to be about explaining this awesome opportunity. Rather, I’d like to share with you my favorite things about this year’s TMC: Continue reading

Intersections (August edition): Upcoming professional development opportunities

In this monthly column, you’ll find information about upcoming math (education)-related workshops, conferences, and other events that will take place in Saskatchewan and beyond. If travel is not an option at this time or if you prefer learning from the comfort of your own home, see the Online workshops and Continuous learning online sections below. Some events fill up fast, so don’t delay signing up! For more information about a particular event or to register, follow the link provided below the description.

If know about an event that should be on our list, please leave a comment below or contact us at ilona@smts.ca.

Within Saskatchewan 

Conferences

cropped-SMTS_Logo_RGB_noname.pngSaskatchewan Understands Math (SUM) Conference
November 4th – 5th, Saskatoon, SK
$135 (early bird), $160 (standard)
Presented by the SMTS

Our own annual conference! The Saskatchewan Understands Math (SUM) conference is for math educators teaching in K-12 who are interested in curriculum, incorporating technology, number sense, and problem solving. Join us for two days packed with learning opportunities, featuring keynote speakers Max Ray-Riek of the Math Forum at NCTM and Grace Kelemanik of the Boston Teacher Residency Program. Registration includes lunch on Friday and a two-year SMTS membership. Click here for more information and to register.

Interested in presenting? The planning committee is seeking 60-minute presentations on topics related to the teaching and learning of mathematics. Presenters will be provided with one free conference registration per session. Submit your proposal on our website by September 16, 2016. Continue reading

Saskatchewan Math Photo Challenge: August

“What if I told you that you don’t have to sail across an ocean or fly into space to discover the wonders of the world? They are right here, intertwined with our present reality.”
E. Frankel,
Love & Math

Inspired by the recently-completed 2016 Math Photo Challenge (see the official website or the #mathphoto16 hashtag on Twitter), which revealedthrough hundreds of submitted photosthe (mathematical) wonders all around us, we are excited to continue the fun with our very own Saskatchewan Math Photo Challenge.

Every month, we will choose a mathematical theme for you to explore in your photos. Keep your eyes peeled as you work and play, take pictures of what you find, and share them on Twitter or Instagram using the #skmathphoto and current theme hashtags. See all photos submitted to the challenge at http://smts.ca/skmathphoto/. At the end of the month, we will feature a few of our favorites in our periodical, The Variable! Participation is not limited to math teachers, so encourage your friends, family, and students to play along!

Without further ado, this month’s theme is…

2016 August - Patterns

 

Problems to Ponder (August edition)

Welcome to this month’s edition of Problems to Ponder! Pose them in your classroom as a challenge or try them out yourself. Have an interesting solution? Send it to thevariable@smts.ca for publication in a future issue of The Variable, our monthly periodical.

Climbing Snail

A snail is at the bottom of a 30 foot well. The snail climbs up 4 feet each day and slides down 3 feet each night. How many days does it take for the snail to get out of the well?

What if the snail climbs up 4 feet each day and slides down 2 feet each night? What if it climbs up k feet each day and slides down n feet each night?

Adapted from Coldwell, N. (n.d.). A collection of quant riddles with answers. Retrieved from http://puzzles.nigelcoldwell.co.uk/
Continue reading

The Variable – Volume 1, Issue 4

The Variable - July 2016 - Cover

Volume 1, Issue 4 of The Variable has just been released! In this issue, you will find brand new content from teachers, students, and researchers in Saskatchewan and beyond, as well as all of our blog posts from the past month (just in case you missed them). Head to http://smts.ca/the-variable/, where you will find this month’s and all previous issues free to access and to download, and, as contributor Sharon Harvey writes, grab your laptop / phone / tablet and “head to the hammock to dream of fall and fresh faces.”

As always, we hope you find this publication relevant and valuable for your teaching or personal interest – and if so, that you share it with your colleagues and invite them to join the conversation!

Reflections: Extreme Math Camp 2016

Reflections is a monthly column for teachers, by teachers on topics of interest to mathematics educators: lesson plans, book/resource reviews, reflections on classroom experiences, and more. If you are interested in sharing your own ideas with mathematics educators in the province (and beyond), consider contributing to this column! Contact us at thevariable@smts.ca.


Extreme Math Camp 2016
Amanda Culver

This month, twenty-five students from across Saskatoon decided to delay their summer holidays in order to engage in three days of mathematics enrichment at Extreme Math Camp 2016. Presenters from Saskatchewan and Ontario were brought together on July 4th-6th to offer new perspectives and new challenges to mathletes from Grades 7 to 10. Continue reading

Spotlight on the Profession: Dr. Rick Seaman

In this monthly column, we speak with a notable member of the Western Canadian mathematics education community about their work and their perspectives on the teaching and learning of mathematics. This month, we had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Rick Seaman.


Rick Seaman

Rick Seaman is a retired professor of mathematics education at the University of Regina. Prior to completing his Ph.D. and beginning his 19 year teaching career at the University of Regina, Rick taught at the Regina Board of Education for 25 years, where he was instrumental in implementing the International Baccalaureate subsidiary and higher level mathematics programs at Campbell Collegiate. A year after defending his dissertation, Rick received the 1996 Wilfred R. Wees Doctoral Thesis Award from the Canadian College of Teachers.

Rick has also regularly volunteered his time coaching baseball and football, leading coaching clinics and coaching at levels ranging from youth teams to the Regina Red Sox and the University of Regina Rams. He held a variety of volunteer administrative positions, including serving as Commissioner of High School Hockey and President of the Regina Intercollegiate Football Coaches’ Association. He has been recognized multiple times for his devotion and passion for coaching. In 1997, the Saskatchewan Roughriders recognized him for encouraging and supporting amateur football in the province of Saskatchewan. More recently, he was honoured as the 2014 Football Canada Gino Fracas Award recipient presented to the CIS Assistant Coach of the Year and was the Special Guest at the 63rd Annual Luther Invitational Basketball Tournament in 2015.

Part I: Questions, Dissertation, Forks…

Before going on to teach mathematics in high school, you obtained both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in mathematics. What drew you to teaching at the high school level? Continue reading

Intersections (July edition): Upcoming professional development opportunities

In this monthly column, you’ll find information about upcoming math (education)-related workshops, conferences, and other events that will take place in Saskatchewan and beyond. If travel is not an option at this time or if you prefer learning from the comfort of your own home, see the Online workshops and Continuous learning online sections below. Some events fill up fast, so don’t delay signing up! For more information about a particular event or to register, follow the link provided below the description.

If know about an event that should be on our list, please leave a comment below or contact ilona (at) smts (dot) ca.

Within Saskatchewan 

Conferences

cropped-SMTS_Logo_RGB_noname.png

SUM Conference
November 4th – 5th, Saskatoon, SK
Presented by the SMTS

Our own annual conference! Join us for two days packed with learning opportunities, featuring keynotes Max Ray-Riek and Grace Kelemanik and featured presenter Peg Cagle. This conference is for math educators teaching in K-12, and registration includes lunch on Friday and a two-year SMTS membership. Click here for more information, and keep checking our website in the coming months for registration details.

Continue reading

Problems to Ponder (July edition)

Welcome to this month’s edition of Problems to Ponder! Pose them in your classroom as a challenge or try them out yourself. Have an interesting solution? Send it to thevariable@smts.ca for publication in a future issue of The Variable, our monthly periodical.

The sixth cent

Coin tossYou toss a fair coin 6 times, and I toss a fair coin 5 times. What is the probability that you get more heads than I do?

Adapted from Barbeau, E. J., Klamkin, M. S., & Moser, W. O. J. (1995). Five hundred mathematical challenges. USA: The Mathematical Association of America.

 

Dueling dice

DiceConsider the following four dice, which have the following numbers on their faces:

  • Red : 0, 1, 7, 8, 8, 9
  • Blue: 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7
  • Green: 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 11
  • Black: 3, 4, 4, 5, 11, 12

The dice are used to play the following game for two people. Player 1 chooses a die, then Player 2 chooses a die. Then, each player rolls their die. The player with the highest number showing gets a point. The first player to get 7 points wins the game. If you are Player 1, which die should you choose? If you are Player 2, which die should you choose?

Adapted from Duelling dice. (n.d.). Retrieved from Mathematics Centre website: http://mathematicscentre.com/taskcentre/046dueld.htm

Two too many dice

3 in 1 die
Suppose you have a clear, sealed cube containing three smaller, indistinguishable six-sided dice. How can you use this three-in-one die to simulate a single, six-sided die? (Bonus: How can you use the three-in-one die to simulate two six-sided dice?)

Adapted from Parker, M. [standupmaths]. (2016, April 12). The three indistinguishable dice puzzle. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/xHh0ui5mi_E

The Variable – Volume 1, Issue 3

The Variable 1(3) Cover

Volume 1, Issue 3 of The Variable has just been released – just in time to make it on to your summer reading list! In this issue, you will find brand new content from teachers, students, and researchers in Saskatchewan and beyond, as well as all of our blog posts from the past month (just in case you missed them). Head to http://smts.ca/the-variable/, where you will find this month’s and all previous issues free to access and to download.

As always, we hope you find this publication relevant and valuable for your teaching or personal interest – and if so, that you share it with your colleagues and invite them to join the conversation!