Tag Archives: monte carlo method

Math Teachers, What’s Your Fancy?

I made this offer a few years ago and I got a bunch of requests. Here’s another go at it with some examples. The offer / question is basically this. You’re an educator of mathematics at any level in any capacity. It doesn’t matter if you’re teaching kindergarten or graduate school, adjuncting or professoring or public schooling or tutoring or best of all, parenting! There are lots of math tutoring apps on the market. Some free, some not free. Some ad enabled, some not. But, there’s always a gap. There’s a certain size of work that’s not large enough for it to be worth anyone’s monetary time to make, but not small enough for anyone to just do on their own.

Now, one of the things I like to do is help with mathematics education. A lot of this blog is about thoughts and tips on teaching, activities, and puzzles for your classroom or one-off lesson. But some times one-offs aren’t enough. Some times you do want or need a reusable tool. Do you have a need for a web tool that fits into the aforementioned size bucket? Too small or nuanced to find an existing solution, but too large for you to labor through it? Or maybe you just want something that’s not so bloated with logins and tracking and all that. If so, I want to see if I can help. Leave a message below or subscribe.

So, what would I do? Could I do? Here are some examples of things I’ve done for my classroom or for others.

  • Infinite Fraction Practice — better than fixed flashcards and has three different sizes of numbers to simultaneously help with arithmetic practice. Used it for many of my Algebra students whose fraction work was weaker than acceptable.
  • A hodgepodge of basic arithmetic stuff for grades 4 through 8 — acts as enrichment for your advanced students but also as remediation and skill practice if you have already covered these topics
  • Spelling + Math — If an A is worth $0.01, a B is worth $0.02, …, a Z is worth $0.26, then how much is a spelling word worth? For example, CAT is worth \($0.03 + $0.01 + $0.20 = $0.26\) Can you find words that are worth $1.00? What’s the most expensive spelling word? This is cheap, simple, and fun.
  • Intermediate Algebra — I’ve used this with my classes and individual students. This is great not just for an intermediate algebra class, but even if you are teaching AP Calculus or College Calculus and want your students to have their Algebra work better reinforced. This also doubles for some standardized test prep.
  • Hit or Miss, Simulation — a nice introduction to probabilistic integration. Depending on how you deliver the content, this can work for 4th grade and up. Great sidebar conversations with your Calculus class when you start working on integration and discuss area under the curve. Deterministic integration doesn’t have to be the only way!!
  • Here’s a little counting activity for 100 days of school.

So that’s a small sampling. If it helps you, I’m sure it’ll help someone else as well. And it doesn’t just have to be flashcard math. If you’re teaching a data unit (stats or otherwise) and are looking for some data generated from specific distributions, that could be doable as well. If you’ve gotten to know me through this blog or Twitter, you know I like messing around with words and language as well.

There are, of course, some caveats. I can’t help with emergencies; this offer is mostly running on my timetable, but I want to commit a few hours per week for general helping out. It’s not FIFO, it’s mostly EIEO — easiest in, easiest out. Please don’t ask for physics or other hard science simulations. These are not small things. Don’t send me stuff that infringes on your students’ privacy — I don’t want names, grades, etc. I ain’t getting paid for this stuff … so keep that in mind. And I assume zero liability for work done or not done.

Anyway, let me know what you’d like and let’s see if I can help.


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