Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Favorite Video Clips for Math Class

I would like to organize and share the various video clips I have used to introduce, teach and review different concepts in my middle school math classroom.

 The Number System

Colin Dodds - Number Types (Math Song): Nice review of the different number types and their definitions which includes:  Natural Numbers, Whole Numbers, Integers, Rational Numbers.

PEMDAS: I show this video of a traffic accident where a car runs a red light. After showing the video, I ask the students to write in their math journal about the accident. What caused the accident? Could it have been prevented? How? What does this video have to do with math? Then we discuss the importance of rules that everyone agrees on and follows in driving and math.

Triple O (Order of Operations):  Teacher turns a boring lesson on order of operations where students are falling asleep into a whole class review of the rules of order of operations by using some simple props and turning on the music.

PEMDAS Style - Order of Operations Gangnam Style Parody: Student writes and performs this video for her class. Her dancing is great!

Math Rocks! Flip It! Whip It! by Devo is the perfect song for reviewing the procedure for dividing fractions.

Nature by Numbers: Beautiful video to introduce the beauty of numbers and patterns.

ViHart: Doodling in Math: Spiral, Fibonacci, and Being a Plant [1 of 3]: My favorite part of this video is when ViHart uses graph paper to draw the golden spiral using the Fibonacci Sequence. I show the whole video and go back to this part and stop and start it several times and have the students draw it themselves. Then I have the students bring in pine cones and pineapples and we identify and count the spirals with glitter glue and colored tape.

Integer Song:  Here is a rendition of the classic math song teaching the rules for adding and subtracting integers sung to the tune of Row Row Row your Boat. I tweaked the lyrics of the third line to make them more mathematically accurate.
     Same signs add and keep
     Different signs subtract
     Keep the sign of which has more
     And then you'll be exact.

Mathematical Pi (Full Song): Great for Pi Day

Expressions and Equations

I show this clip from the Japanese game show Unbeatable Banzuke: SeeSaw 60 to introduce the idea doing the same thing on both sides when solving equations.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt (in Runescape):  I show this video to introduce the idea that solving equations involves doing inverse operations in reverse order. I also wrote a song called Going on an X Hunt. I give the students simple rhythm instruments and we sing it together. Someday I will make a video of the class singing it.

I use Dan Meyer's Graphing Stories to introduce the concept of numberless graphs and graphing functions.

Solve Me Maybe (WSHS Math Song): I love the way this school has created a tradition where students and teacher work together to create math videos.

The Weird Algebras: Algebraic Style [GANGNAM STYLE PARODY]: My students made this video and performed it in class. It was amazing--I wish I had a video of it. The video and performance was the result of a group project where students were asked to write and perform a song about solving equations.


Tik Tok Math Song : Reviews formulas  for finding the area of square, circle, rectangle, parallelogram, triangle, and trapezoid. I like the fact that the video uses b (base) and h (height) for finding the area of all the quadrilaterals.

Call Me Maybe-"Half It Baby" (Area of a Triangle): Nice review of the connection between the area of rectangles and area of triangles. This is great to show after a discovery lesson.

Area of a circle, how to get the formula: I love this video! It cuts the circle into smaller and smaller pieces to show that the area of a circle is simply base x height where base is half of the circumference (pi x r) and the height is r.

Even better than The Shapes Song! (4 Sided Shapes - Quadrilaterals): Nice review of the properties of different quadrilaterals.

Who can resist the Nonagon Song by They Might Be Giants to introduce polygons?

I like to use these three drawing videos to introduce 3-D geometry.  I think that by drawing the figures, students can more easily visualize the figure which is necessary for understanding and calculating surface area and volume: Stacking Cylinders in 3-D, Flowers in a 3-D Box, Treasure Chest.

What is a Prism?:  I like the way that this video shows the slicing of a solid and how you get the same shape as the base no matter where you slice it.

Gangnam Style Math (Transformation Style): Nice overview of transformations.

Statistics and Probability

Mean, Median and Mode Rap by Mr. C: Nice review of these vocabulary words.

Algebra I

Emily sings the "Quadratic Formula":  Shows the power of music to help students learn and memorize.

Quadratic Formula:  Just the music--"Pop Goes the Weasel"-- and the words to the song displayed on the screen for a classroom sing along! I memorized the quadratic formula several times over the years and then immediately forgot it after a test. It wasn't until I was doing my student teaching and learned this song from my cooperating teacher that I learned it for good--never to be forgotten.

Pythagorean Theorem Water Demo: Not a proof, but a nice, concise, and easy to understand demonstration of what the Pythagorean Theorem means.


Baby Learning to Walk: I want to use this video in class to introduce the growth mindset vs. the fixed mindset described in  Mindset by Carol S. Dweck. "Everyone is born with an intense drive to learn. Infants stretch their skills daily. Not just ordinary skills, but the most difficult task of a lifetime, like learning to walk and talk. They never decide it's too hard or not worth the effort. Babies don't worry about making mistakes or humiliating themselves. They walk, they fall, they get up. They just barge forward" (Pg. 16). I want to use this video to encourage my students to work hard and never give up and not get discouraged by mistakes.

Taking Tests Song: (Tips for Test Success) by Heath  I showed this video to my students at the beginning of the week as we started to review for state testing. I encouraged the students to have a positive attitude about the tests and described it as an opportunity to prove how hard they had worked all year and how much they had learned.

Who Wants to be a Millionaire Math Question: Which of these square numbers also happens to be the sum of two smaller square numbers?

I will be adding more as I find them and use them. Please send any video clips that you have found useful in your classroom.