HackTheMath

This page is a collection of all things Mathematical in my teaching.

It is not about counting.

It is not about being able to do your taxes and pay your bills.

Calculus isn’t going to help you become the life of the party.

For Mathematical purists, this page may not be the best landing spot for you. It is not how the Ancient Mathemagicians intended to explain it.

Math is a LANGUAGE. It is a structured and airtight process to make thinking visible. Thinking processes such as critical thought, logical deduction, trend spotting and number patterns. And stuff like Pythagoras Theorem are just platforms to exhibit such thinking.

It isn’t very elegant, because I came up with most of this on my own, but for the floundering souls despairing in Math class, yes it somewhat works.

Hack (Heck) The Math are a series of strategies that I have employed in class to accelerate the teaching. Countless meetings through the years where I had to listen to colleagues moan about how they cannot finish their teaching / their classes are too slow / they are struggling to complete the syllabus, while I seemingly didn’t.

Upon closer examination, I realised that the way I packaged and delivered certain content in a tidy package allowed students to uncover knowledge on their own within a fraction of the time, leaving enough time to master the concepts and for me to provide feedback. For example, for a topic which requires 5 teaching hours, most content would have been covered within one to 2 hours, with the remaining time used to emphasise on skills instead of knowledge. This I thought was a better use of time within the classroom.

I am not writing this to win a Fields prize. Just doing this to hopefully help you make sense of the Math-ness.

Here are the various ways I have packaged topics throughout the years. You may choose to use it wholesale, tweak bits which may be useful, or it may even serve as inspiration to customise your teaching. Either way, I hope to hear from you too if you have ideas to bounce off!

As the crow flies

Using Google Maps to bring a nearby location to life. Sometimes, you don’t need fancy or exotic areas on another planet to bring a lesson to life when the familiarity is required to internalise abstract concepts.

Graph transformation: the 4 “S” words

Investigating how variables cause graphs to morph.

Quadratic curve sketching

Sketching parabolic curves quickly and accurately

Geometry hack from a biker’e perspective

packaging geometrical rules within 5 minutes

The exam hack in your hand

how to remember logarithmic and exponential curves

Stop motion in Google Slides for kinematics

Demonstrate thinking for velocity, distance and speed

Architectural wonders around the world

An alternative insight into surface area and volume with Google Maps

Infographics poster

An alternate way of looking at integration of area under a curve

Trigonometry hack

A humorous way of looking at basic trigonometric ratios in the 4 quadrants

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