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Two Off-Hand Fillers

Occasionally, I build up a list of web resources that do not justify a full review page of their own. So, let me share two web-quickies...

This next month-plus is National Kite Month (March 31-May 5, 2013). In turn, to encourage kite flying, share the fascinating history of kites, and reveal the visual artistry of kitemakers, the NKM sponsors a ton of educational resources. The goal is to have about 600 kite events worldwide during National Kite Month. Look under "Teacher Resources" to find some math and science activities...plus look at the photos of kites internationally.

How is is possible to use a paper plate to learn mathematics and science? To our rescue, DePaul University sponsors Paper Plate Education as "an initiative to reduce complex notions to simple paper plate explanations." Per the "Activities" section, the main focus of the website is on astronomy, with other math, science, and art thoughts thrown in as seasonings. But, astronomy involves a great amount of math...especially visible if you browse some of the activities. The math-directed activities raise my concerns. First, it is missing some great paper plate uses, such as using two plates to teach fraction values/estimations. Second, the activity on sine waves is mathematically incorrect (see figure above on right) and needs to be corrected...why not have your precalculus class write to the PPE webpage monitor to get him to see the "trig light"?