With Family Math Night approaching in less than a month all of my Math 221 time has been spent thinking about what needs to be prepared for Family Math Night. Our class will be working with 5th graders of Grand Haven to make this night happen. This week I spent most of my time figuring out ideas/games I can present to the 5th graders when our class meets with them on Wednesday. 

Over the past week I have looked through several math games, trying to find a fun and mathematical game. I looked at the Family Math Night Starter Ideas Google Doc to help come up with an idea. The game that stood out to me the most on the Google Doc was the, "Build an Animal" game. What made me look at this game when first glancing through the page was the fact that it was using animals with math. I personally love animals and I know that most children also love animals. So that led me to look further into the game. 

How to play, "Build an Animal": To play this game you need a die with each different number on the die representing a different animal body part. (Such as 1 being a body, 2 being a head...etc.) Whatever number the student rolls they will look at what animal body part the number represents and take that part from the pile. The student will keep rolling the die until they get all of the body parts to build a complete animal. This game will also be a race to see who can make a whole animal the fastest. 

Math in "Build an Animal": The math behind this game is all about probability. When the student rolls a die there are 6 different possibilities that the student will roll. The probability is 1/6 or 16%. 
On the website, "Math is Fun" I found a good equation of probability:

Probability of an event happening = Number of ways it can happen/Total Number of outcomes

Things to do for preparation: My partner and I need to cut out different animal parts and decided what numbers represent what body part and if we want one number to represent something else such as, "Take a part from another player". We also need to decide what makes an animal a "complete" animal. In general we need to figure out what we want the exact rules of the game to be. 

Reflection: Preparing for Family Math Night is showing me what it takes to be teacher and the work that is needed for making lesson plans or games. This activity is teaching me how to teach others math and I'm sure after the actual event I will have improved my math teaching skills. 

Feedback: Do you have any advice to make this game better? Any rules that should be added? 

Sources: Math is Fun: http://www.mathsisfun.com/data/probability.html
Family Math Night Google Doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/18XQOUnBqavQHaFOL7b9CDPrmW7NegY9ZgwFB7N1kMLo/edit

In class on Friday we worked with Oreo cookies. We worked with Single Stuf Oreo's, Double Stuf Oreo's, and Mega Stuf Oreo's. Our goal was to find out if Double Stuf Oreo's and Mega Stuf Oreo's really had more "stuf" than a Single Stuf Oreo. Is Double Stuf really double stuffed? What does mega stuffed mean? We had so many unsolved Oreo mysteries at the beginning of class. 

To solve these Oreo mysteries our class had each person individually measure different things. First we measured the weight in grams of a whole Single Stuf Oreo, Double Stuf Oreo, and a Mega Stuf Oreo. We also weighed the different cookies without the stuf in the middle and then we also weighed only the stuf in the middle of each Oreo. We also measured the height of each different type of Oreo as a whole cookie, just the stuf, and then one side of the individual cookie. The last thing we measured was the diameter of the cookie and then we measured the diameter of the white stuf of each different Oreo.

Once we found all of the measurements for the Oreo's we then added our data to a Google Document. This now leads to my weekly work. Using all of the information from the Google Document I decided to analyze the Oreo data by finding the Mean, Median, Mode, and Range of our data. I decided to only use the data for the stuf in the middle of the cookie because that is what we really care about, right? 

Oreo Data Google Document: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Asfrwh-y1pyQdDJiT1c4YlNEcDBwMjJnWGlFUmx5c3c&usp=sharing#gid=0
Before I give my results for the data I analyzed I will explain beforehand how I found all of this information. For each data set I am finding the mean, median, mode, and range. 
To find the mean you need to add up all of the measurements in the data set and once you find the sum of all of the numbers you divide the number of measurements in your data set from the sum you just calculated. 
For example, my data set is 3, 3, 4, 5, 6
Add up all of the numbers in the set so, 3+3+4+5+6= 21
Now since we have 5 numbers in this set we will divide 5 from 21. So 21/5= 4.2 
So our mean or average is 4.2


The median is the number found in the middle of the set. I personally find the median by organizing the data in order from smallest to largest and then I cross off the smallest number and then the largest number, then I cross off the second smallest and then the second largest. I keep crossing off numbers until I get to the middle number. 
For example, using the example data set I used before, 3, 3, 4, 5, 6
The median would be 4, because it is the middle number, so 3, 3, 4, 5, 6

The mode is the number that appears the most in the data set so once again using the data set 3, 3, 4, 5, 6 the number that appears the most is the number 3. It is okay to have more than one mode. 

The range shows the distance between the smallest and largest number in the set. To find the range you take the smallest number in the set and then subtract it from the largest number. So using 3, 3, 4, 5, 6 I would take 6-3=3. So the range from the smallest to the largest number is 3. 

I first analyzed the data for the stuf in the Single Stuf Cookies. I started with the weight of the stuf. 
Mean: 3.43 grams
Median: 3.3 grams
Mode: 3.0 grams and 3.5 grams
Range: 5 grams

I then analyzed the height for the stuf in the Single Stuf Oreo's.
Mean: 0.29 centimeters 
Median: 0.30 centimeters
Mode: 0.30 centimeters
Range: 0.25 centimeters

Finally, I analyzed the the diameter of the stuf in the Single Stuf Oreo's.
Mean: 3.47 centimeters
Median: 3.50 centimeters
Mode: 3.50 centimeters
Range: 0.80 centimeters

Next, I analyzed the data for the stuf in the Double Stuf Oreo's. I started with the weight of the stuf.
Mean: 6.32 grams
Median: 6.30 grams
Mode: 5.80 grams
Range: 3.70 grams

Then I analyzed the height of the stuf.
Mean: 0.49 centimeters
Median: 0.50 centimeters
Mode: 0.50 centimeters
Range: 0.20 centimeters

Then I analyzed the diameter of the stuf in the Double Stuf Oreo's
Mean: 3.76 centimeters
Median: 3.70 centimeters
Mode: 3.70 centimeters
Range: 0.50 centimeters 
Now it's time to analyze the Mega Stuf data! Of course, I started with weight.
Mean: 9.39 grams
Median: 9.10 grams
Mode: 9.0 grams
Range: 3.50 grams

Then I looked at height.
Mean: 0.69 centimeters
Median: 0.70 centimeters
Mode: 0.80 centimeters
Range: 0.30 centimeters

And finally I looked at diameter of the stuf.
Mean: 4.17 centimeters
Median: 4.20 centimeters
Mode: 4.0 centimeters 
Range: 0.60 centimeters 

Reflection: Looking at all of this data it shows that the Double Stuf Oreo's have more stuf than the Single Stuf Oreo's and the Mega Stuf Oreo's have more stuf than the Double Stuf Oreo's. The thing is, there isn't much more stuf in each different type of cookie. According to the mean of the weight, height, and diameter of the Double Stuf Oreo it is about doubled the size to the Single Stuf Oreo. For the Mega Stuf there is only a little more stuf than in the Double Stuf, but the bottom line is there is in fact more stuf. Also, it really depends on the individual Oreo. Looking at the individual data some Oreo's varied in amount of stuf. Overall, this activity would be fun for children because we are applying math to cookies and what child doesn't love cookies? 

Feedback: Are my explanations of mean, median, mode, and range clear? I had difficulty explaining and wording, specifically the median via blog. I feel if I had an actual class in front of me and a white board I could explain these better.  
In class on Friday we spent the whole class period figuring out the components of our glyph design. We decided to make our glyph's Jack-O-Lantern's since it is October and close to Halloween. We decided as a class through voting and discussing what each feature of our pumpkin would represent. Such as, the grooves on the pumpkin represent how many siblings you have, or the color outline of the pumpkin represents your favorite color. For my daily work on Friday I created my own Jack-O-Lantern to share with the class on Monday. Here is an example of my finished Jack-O-Lantern glyph. 

I really enjoyed this glyph activity so for my weekly work I decided to teach someone else what a glyph is and how to make one. I decided to use the codes and designs we already created in class to teach to someone else. 
Since I went back home to Illinois this weekend to visit my family I had my one and only Mom help me out with my weekly work! I decided to explain to her everything we did in class on Friday and teach her how to make her own using our codes. 
First I explained to my Mom what a glyph was. I explained it as being a picture that contains data or information about someone. To make a glyph you create codes for the features of your picture. The codes represent data about you. Such as your favorite super power. The code we used in class was for the mouth of our pumpkin and whatever super power you liked the best you matched it up with the certain mouth. To the right is the code we used in class. 

My mom caught on quickly on how to make a glyph and started creating her Jack-O-Lantern right away. This was her end result:
Reflection: Overall I really enjoyed this activity and think that it would be an excellent activity for my future students. It think this activity would be a good beginning of the school year activity to get to know all of the students and have all of the students get to know each other. Also, I believe this activity lets kids be creative with creating codes and questions and designing their glyph. It's also great that each student's glyph will be unique. 

Feedback: Was my explanation of a glyph clear? 
In class on Friday we watched the show Cyberchase. I thought it was funny that we watched this show, because it brought me back to the 4th grade when my friend and I would watch Cyberchase and Arthur after school. So, this week I thought it would be fun to relive my childhood some more and watch another episode of Cyberchase since the main focus of the show is math. I also decided to play some online Cyberchase games located on the PBS Kids website! 
Since we started working on finding an area in class, I decided to watch the Cyberchase episode, "Sensible Flats". This episode link was located on our math course page under "Extra Resources" and led me to the Cyberchase page on the PBS Kids website. 

In the episode "Sensible Flats" the kids in the show had to help prove the villain character, Hacker, innocent. In the town the judge, Judge Trudy, claimed that everyone in the town had to have the same area of land as everyone else which was 15 square feet. Judge Trudy's land was in the shape of a rectangle so it was easy to tell what the area was, since to find the area of a rectangle you just have to multiply length by width, so in this instance, 5x3=15 square feet. 

Hacker's land was shaped differently, but still ended up having an area of 15 square feet. In the episode the kids proved that Hacker's shape had an area of 15 square feet by putting the shape on a graph/grid. This then demonstrated that his shape was made of squares and triangles. They showed that when you rearranged the squares and triangles, you end up with the same shape and hence the same area of 15 square feet. 

Here's a link to a video clip from the episode "Sensible Flats" showing how to find the area of a shape that is not a rectangle:


This Cyberchase episode was great and it explained in a kid friendly way how to find the area of an odd shape that is not a rectangle. 

On the Cyberchase website there are also plenty of games and activities to play to enhance math skills! Here are some links to the games & activities. 
Games: http://pbskids.org/cyberchase/math-games/
Activities: http://pbskids.org/cyberchase/activities/
Reflection: From this activity I realized some children's television really is educational and can help enhance children's understanding and learning of different subjects. I believe that television shows make learning fun and interesting for a child.This activity also made me realize how many different educational television shows there are such as, Sesame Street, Liberty's Kid, Arthur, and even Dora the Explorer.  In my classroom I will definitely, occasionally use television for my lessons. 

Feedback: How much educational television would you allow your students to watch? Is there a such thing as too much educational television? 

Sources: http://pbskids.org/cyberchase/videos/
All of my pictures are from a Google Image search