Cathy Brady wrote: >I certainly think modern mathematics instruction must include discrete >mathematics.
>I'm concerned that the mobius strip is used as an activity with no >connection to other topology ideas... and as math I think of it as a >one of a series of classified surfaces, that it's interesting as something >that has different invariants... I'm not expressing this very well.... >and my question is just that... how does one express the mathematical >importance, how does one convey this?
(Not being an elementary school teacher, I can't say HOW to do this, but) One way to show invariants is through coloring problems. Map colorings generalize easily to other surfaces, and I'd think that having kids try to find the maximum colors needed for a mobius strip, or a torus, would be inherently interesting for them. (Seems like a good topic for a heterogenous class, in fact.)