NEWSLETTER | ISSUE 5 | DECEMBER 17, 2020
Written by Adam Gesjorskyj
'TIS THE SEASON TO BE... PYTHAGOREAN?
In this issue of the BHNmath newsletter, you’ll undoubtedly notice a heavy presence of the Pythagorean Theorem. What started as a brief conversation with a dear friend and colleague soon led to nearly two weeks of discussion, design, experimentation, review and modification around a slew of resources on this famous mathematical relationship! The chat that started the ball rolling, however, was not based on any urgent need for Pythagorean Theorem teaching/learning materials. Instead, it was centred around the question, “What types of resources do you think would be most beneficial to students and teachers when the new de-streamed Grade 9 mathematics curriculum is initiated in September?” The Pythagorean Theorem just happened to be the first topic that was mentioned in an example during that catalytic phone call, although its relevance across grade levels did make it an appealing topic on which to test some new ideas. As you’ll see below, the result of this dialogue was a bundle of materials ready for use in classrooms and remote learning environments, including two brand new types of BHNmath resources that will serve as models for future creations. A huge thanks to the one and only Rob Todd for the imagination and collaboration that played a major role in shaping these new offerings. Rob never ceases to inspire creativity and fuel mathematical curiosity, and every time he asks me a “What would it take to…” question, I know I’ll once again be expanding the limits of my technological abilities!
NEW RESOURCE TYPES
As mentioned above, two new BHNmath resource types will now be offered, both of which are intended to assist students who are struggling with specific topics.
This type of resource aims to address frequently asked questions on a particular topic. A simple user interface allows students to select a question and view a corresponding video answer. It can be updated as needed based on teacher requests and commonly asked questions from the Question and Answer Centre. As more of these resources are built, they will link to one another to form a network of related topics. Click the image to see the Help resource for the Pythagorean Theorem.
This interactive resource provides students with a calculator customized to specific types of problems. Upon entering the required information for a problem, students not only see a calculated answer, but also a full explanation of how to arrive at that answer. The solution is fully adapted to the inputted values and can be viewed all at once or in a step-by-step manner. Click the image to check out the Pythagorean Theorem calculator!
New Tools and Updates
Resource development over the past couple months has led to some significant tool updates and the creation of two brand new tools! For a list of updates and to download the most recent versions of the tools, please visit the Tools section of the Teachers page. Here are the latest additions:
Needless to say, building Pythagorean Theorem resources involves creating a ton of triangle diagrams! This tool was made to streamline the process of making custom triangle based images for all types of learning materials. Check out the following video for details!
The need for this tool came about when answering several online questions involving visual representations of fractions. Thanks to JP Levac for his valuable input on offering a variety of representations, which took it to the next level! For more information, see the video below.
BLACK BACKGROUND GRAPH TOOL
I’ve become mildly obsessed with the captivating work of Grant Sanderson (3Blue1Brown). Inspired by his beautifully presented videos, I’ve started using a black background for many of my own, which led to the need for this black/white-inverted version of the Graph Tool.
THIS JUST IN!
While writing this newsletter, I received a message regarding some details about the upcoming de-streamed Grade 9 math course. The simply titled Mathematics, Grade 9 course has been assigned the course code MTH1W and the following description:
“This course enables students to consolidate, and continue to develop, an understanding of mathematical concepts related to number sense and operations, algebra, measurement, geometry, data, probability, and financial literacy. Students will use mathematical processes, mathematical modelling, and coding to make sense of the mathematics they are learning and to apply their understanding to culturally responsive and relevant real-world situations. Students will continue to enhance their mathematical reasoning skills, including proportional reasoning, spatial reasoning, and algebraic reasoning, as they solve problems and communicate their thinking.”
In addition to receiving this information from the Ministry of Education, our board has been asked to form a De-Streaming Team. It is my pleasure to take the role of Lead for this team. As more details about the course become available, I’ll begin building its BHNmath course page and populating it with resources. In the meantime, newly created Grade 9 resources will be shared via email to all mailing list subscribers. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
PAGE FOR GRADES 7 AND 8
The Grades 7 and 8 page has arrived! All resources developed for these grades will be posted on this page. Furthermore, any BHNmath materials designed for secondary mathematics courses that might also be useful to Grade 7/8 teachers and students will also be available there. Many thanks to the teachers that have provided feedback on these resources!
SUBSCRIBE TO THE MAILING LIST!
Recently added resources
Here are the five resources most recently created for BHNmath (excluding Question and Answer Centre resources):
Course: Mathematics, Grade 9 / Grade 8 Mathematics
Topic: Pythagorean Theorem
Type: Practice Problems
Location: TBD / Spatial Sense (Measurement)
Notes: A pdf file containing a variety of practice problems for the Pythagorean Theorem. Answers are included. An editable Microsoft Word version is also available for download (click here).
Course: AP Calculus (MCV4UP)
Topic: Trapezoidal Rule
Type: Interactive Applet
Location: The Definite Integral
Notes: An applet to explore trapezoidal approximation of areas under curves. Based on the similar Rectangular Approximation applet and inspired by the discovery of a new GeoGebra command!
WHAT'S NEXT FOR BHNmath?
- Developing resources to support the upcoming Grade 9 de-streamed math curriculum.
Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!