Even though one may look at a tangram as a fun puzzle, it actually holds a lot of mathematical value. By solving these puzzles you learn a lot about geometry by playing with different shapes. You can also learn about area, by finding the area of each individual piece, which would then result in knowing the area of your whole figure. These puzzles could be used at an elementary level to first introduce students to shapes or at a middle school to high school level to test their understanding with area and with configuring shapes to make a bigger picture.

(picture taken off of google images/wikipedia)

**This blog comes from part of a project I worked on in a History of Mathematics Class

]]>Since I recently became an education major, I wanted to get more involved in the program. I ran for secretary of the FEDs club which stands for Future Educators of Drexel. I was so happy last Friday when I found out that I had gotten the position! I will be keeping track of all the minutes for the meetings we have. I’m super eager to find out what else I will be doing! I feel as though I will be able to bring forth new ideas to the club and help get more people involved! Being secretary of this club is the first step in advancing my carreer as a teacher!

]]>So, In conclusion, which do you think is easier to draw?

or

Is the normal 3 easier to draw since this is the way we’ve known all along?

(both of these images were taken off of google images)

]]>Now that the summer is coming to an end, I keep reminiscing about all the schoolwork I used to have to complete over the summer to get me ready for the next and upcoming grade. Every summer I would have a summer reading book to read. I hardly ever had math work to complete, which I find interesting. I only remember having a math packet to do over the summer once. I find it puzzling that most schools do not offer a summer math packet. Each year students learn new concepts in math that will help them the following year. If one student does not practice these concepts over the summer, how will they remember them? I feel as though if more schools (speaking of school levels k-12) required summer math packets, this could cut down on a lot of time teachers have to use each year reviewing material from the previous year. Say for instance one year you learn derivatives, and then the next year you are supposed to learn integrals, practicing derivatives over the summer will make it a lot easier to jump into integrals in the fall since they go hand in in. Requiring mandatory summer math packets would help a lot of students as well as teachers in their mathematics career.

]]>I then started working on other packets for Pre-alg and Math Fundamental packets. I found coming up with methods for these problem a bit more difficult. When creating these packets, I first solved the problem myself, giving me one method to work with. I then thought very hard and looked through other students solutions while also comparing with my co-workers on methods they could come up. In many of the Pre-alg problems I used Algebra as a method, such as coming up with an equation using a variable, but then I also started using algebraic reasoning. Algebraic reasoning is almost identical to algebra, except instead of using a variable such as x or y, you would put the actual thing you are solving for in the equation. Say for example you have a problem where x represents the number of adults at a carnival and y represents the number of childen and the total is 100. Instead of writing:

x + y = 100

You would write:

adults + children = 100

It’s very simple, but its just an easier way to understand/read the problem.

Besides these methods, you can also use logical reasoning as a method, which is basically just gathering the facts you have and making a conclusion with little to no math involved. It’s almost like a guess, but definitely more educated and supported.

Creating a table or a list became very popular methods that I began using frequently. They are both easy ways to organize all of your information making the problem easier to understand. You may have one method as algebra and then another as creating a table, where the math may be the same, but it is organized in a table making it easier for someone to read.

An example of a table would be:

]]>A few students eagerly wanted to answer what they thought the question was going to be. “I know the answer!” some students eagerly said as they raised their hands.

“We’re just listing what we noticed and wondered for now, we will get to the question, don’t worry” Valerie stated. I was amased how without even given a question, students hands shot up to answer what they “thought” the question may be. I feel as though this is proof that the I Notice, I Wonder activity really gets students minds going. While listing everything they notice, their minds start turning and they start wondering about the problem.

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