Let me know if these are things that interest you as a teacher of children:
- You want the students to find your subject interesting.
- You want the students to investigate your subject in their own time, like an adult would do.
- You want the students to continue to develop their presentation skills.
- You want the students to pique the interest of the other students in the class in your subject.
- You want to expose the students in your class to a diverse set of ideas, opinions, and experiences.
When I (briefly) attended Twitter Math Camp last year, I really enjoyed the My Favorite section of the conference. This is a section where teachers came forward and presented something that they liked that they thought the other teachers would be interested in. These included activities, strategies, etc. Pretty much whatever the presenter thought the other teachers would enjoy. They had about 5-10 minutes to present.
To co-opt this My Favorite structure to my classroom, I asked every student in all of my classes to present one thing that they found interesting about math.
Here’s the document that I gave the students:
How’d it go?
Great! I loved it, and I (think) the kids loved it. We had so many different and interesting topics. Here’s a quick subset of the topics that were covered in three of the classes:
Fibonacci and Bartok
Volleyball winning odds
Hairy Ball Theorem
Monty Hall Paradox
Pappus of Alexandria Thm
Quad Midpoints make Parallelogram
4 color theorem
Brouwers fixed point theorem
P vs NP
Mole Train Woot Woot
Sound and Sine
Font Layout and Yearbook
Fermat’s Last Theorem
Rule of 72
P vs NP
Golden Ratio and Phi
Math (and Physics) of Bowling
What’s faster, going up or going down?
Only recognize about 2/3rds of them? Me too. It was awesome seeing the different mathematics that was discussed in our classes. What was the percent of topics that lined up with any of the final exams? I’d say under 5%.
Do you have 2-5 min to spare 30 or so times per class per year with very little burden of prep on the teacher? I would bet that you do.