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Watching math videos for credit

October 23, 2011 am31 10:42 am

A question. For my freshmen algebra classes.

I love the Vi Hart videos. I like that Vi looks like the VI at the bottom of some clocks, or like the VI in VI Lenin. But mostly I like how fast she talks and how much she makes fun of math class while talking about nothing but math (and interesting tangent) and how cleverly she drops in cultural references and bad puns and so forth.

I also like the fruity platonic solids, and how to eat candy dots, and the music boxes made of paper, and, well, she’s just kind of cool, you know?

Is there a reason to make kids watch the mathy videos, other than me really liking them, and the elephants? How would I structure their use? Or unstructure them? Could I assign a four minute video for homework, and for “bonus” credit ask them to write up one detail that looked interesting or strange or compelling? Or ask them to write down a question or two about things she mentioned but they want to know more about? Or offer to teach in class about one of the topics that fascinated them, instead of “regular” math…

Ideas, people!  Help me with some ideas.

Oh, and if you don’t know who Vi Hart is (for shame!) go look: Here’s a video on Youtube and here’s her real page, with lots and lots of stuff to look at. Here’s the math video subpage, and the math doodling one.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 23, 2011 am31 11:13 am 11:13 am

    Required viewing of Vi seems wrong somehow. I don’t think she’d like that…

    • October 24, 2011 pm31 11:51 pm 11:51 pm

      I mentioned in my first Algebra 1 class today how much I like her stuff, but “required viewing…” One girl is already a fan (of Vi Hart, and of my class) and may convince others to watch.

      I’d like to play “off-hand comments” with them. Indeed, I disagree that the singular of sheep should be “shoop” (long U), it should be “shoop” (near-rhyme with foot).

  2. October 23, 2011 am31 11:15 am 11:15 am

    Vi Hart rocks my socks. The end.

  3. October 23, 2011 pm31 6:16 pm 6:16 pm

    Rumors are that she might be joining with Khan Academy. So, I guess she will be ok with people being required to view her stuff?

  4. October 24, 2011 pm31 6:34 pm 6:34 pm

    We made these visualization problems based on her fruit cuts:

    • October 24, 2011 pm31 6:35 pm 6:35 pm

      To note, these are much younger kids, but other problems of the month in the set are for older kids and you can easily ramp up the difficulty. It’s more fun with real apples.

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