Thursday, September 24, 2015

Procedural Updates

Starting Up

The roster filled up after a week and I have a small waiting list. Unfortunately I don't have the actual names yet so I can't start emailing the parents or looking for volunteers. If a few more students do show up I am going to try to find another volunteer so we can serve more kids.

In the meantime I have registered for MOEMS again, am about to start the AMC8 process and have had an independent email from the Washington Student Math Assoc. about having someone come out and speak to the math club later this fall.

Here's my intro email draft which I'm trying to decide if I can make any more fun:

Thanks for signing up for the Math Club.  I'm excited to start up a new year. In this mail I'm going to go over the basic procedures.

1. Please fill out my own membership form which I've enclosed in this mail and return it to me.

2. We meet after school finishes in the cafeteria.  New this year: there is no food allowed in the classroom. So please bring your own snacks and be prepared to eat them in the 10 minutes before we walk up to the room.  

3. Besides any snack, also bring a notebook and pencils each week. Especially in the beginning I'd appreciate it if you can remind your kids about supplies.  Also, I've found electronics to be very distracting for everyone. So I recommend not bringing any ipads/phones etc. on Math Club days or talking about putting them away for the afternoon beforehand with your kids. 

4. Parent pickup will be at the classroom: N204 at 4:50.  There will be a notebook that you should sign out from. If you haven't arrived by 5:00 I will bring your children down to the KidCo room by the Cafeteria. Be aware: Vanessa has informed me that there will be less leniency on charges this year if that happens.

5. The first day is Tue. 10/6. I've also enclosed the year calendar.

* I really like having other adults helping out in the room and more adults let me do some different activities. Please email me back if you can come  one of the afternoons. No special math experience is necessary. 

* This year I'm thinking about commissioning a T-Shirt for the club. If you have any graphic design talent and want to help out please also send me a mail.

Fun Stuff: I've re-enclosed my original flyer. For those who are chomping at the bit to get started please take a look at the problems. Then if you have any questions or have a solution send me an email back.

See you soon

I've also been updating the resource page: Resources a bit recently. At some I'm going to reindex by category as well.

Recent Interesting Problems:

I love medians and this problem has a lot of them. This would work great scaffolded with work noticing properties of medians i.e. they divide the area of the triangle in half, and the cool rotations you can do with them by splitting to form another related triangle.   Its a bit of a cheat but if you notice the quadrilateral is not strongly specified in the problem. As that suggests this is a general property. So you can start by considering the case where the quadrilateral is a square and find an easier solution for this subcase which will hold for more complicated versions. (In fact the general proof which involves triangles and medians is a bit less messy to draw in the square version as well.)

This problem showed up again.  Mikesmathpage has a fun treatment of this:  
Basically if you  model with some sort of dowel you can find a right triangle and then easily apply the pythagorean theorem.  I really like the idea of the physical modelling and it would fit really well after proving the theorem if we do that again this year.

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