Numberphile videos work best if teachers engage students in discussing the problems' solutions along the way. For example, teachers need to be ready to press the pause button at the right time to let kids try to solve the problem and discuss their various explanations. After this discussion, continue to play the video that clearly explains the answer. When discussing puzzles, students should make a clear claim and back it up with evidence and reasoning, just as the CCSS demand. Numberphile is also great for kids who are simply curious about math. By linking the site to your classroom website, you can connect kids to a place where they can explore their own math interests outside of school.Continue reading Show less
Numberphile is a free site featuring short math films created by Australian video journalist Brady Haran. Sponsored by organizations including the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, Numberphile videos feature mathematicians describing interesting mathematics scenarios and insights. Problems featured are designed to be engaging and spark animated discussion. Users can browse the videos on this site (by tapping illustrations that symbolize each video's content) or explore the same content via the developer's YouTube channel (by using that site's search features to browse by topic and title).
There's some great content in these videos, but it can be tough to find. Navigating the website's front page is tricky; each whimsical illustration links to a video, but it can be hard to use this systematically with students. The Text Index provides titles and descriptors but still lacks a clear organization system. Additionally, not all videos are appropriate for the classroom; for example, “The Stable Marriage Problem” is an interesting example of a constructive proof, but the presenter swears during her explanation.
Once you do find the videos you're looking for, you'll hit gold: Kids can learn about probability with the classic Monty Hall problem or discover fun facts about Pi for math lovers. Kids who love math will be enthralled; others will be surprised to see the many places math appears in their world. While Numberphile is missing classroom support tools on its own site, other online communities like TED-Ed offer solid lessons around some videos. With some careful screening and thoughtful context, teachers could build their own tasks that utilize these well-crafted, engaging videos.
Key Standards Supported
Geometric Measurement And Dimension
Give an informal argument for the formulas for the circumference of a circle, area of a circle, volume of a cylinder, pyramid, and cone. Use dissection arguments, Cavalieri’s principle, and informal limit arguments.
(+) Give an informal argument using Cavalieri’s principle for the formulas for the volume of a sphere and other solid figures.
Use volume formulas for cylinders, pyramids, cones, and spheres to solve problems.
Identify the shapes of two-dimensional cross-sections of three- dimensional objects, and identify three-dimensional objects generated by rotations of two-dimensional objects.
Using Probability To Make Decisions
- Copyright 2010. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved.
(+) Weigh the possible outcomes of a decision by assigning probabilities to payoff values and finding expected values.
Find the expected payoff for a game of chance. For example, find the expected winnings from a state lottery ticket or a game at a fast- food restaurant.
Evaluate and compare strategies on the basis of expected values. For example, compare a high-deductible versus a low-deductible automobile insurance policy using various, but reasonable, chances of having a minor or a major accident.
(+) Use probabilities to make fair decisions (e.g., drawing by lots, using a random number generator).
(+) Analyze decisions and strategies using probability concepts (e.g., product testing, medical testing, pulling a hockey goalie at the end of a game).
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