Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Illuminations of Illuminations: When Math Meets the Environment

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." ~John Muir
"Go down deep enough into anything and you will find mathematics."  ~Dean Schlicter 
With a dozen or so days until Earth Day, the clever teacher sees the importance of tying the environment to other curricular topics.  Math is a mighty place to start.  The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has a sparkling li'l gem for preK'ers to 12th graders.  It's called "Illuminations." It's a warehouse of activities and lessons for kids and teachers alike.

For a sure-fire math-environment tie-in, check out this 4-lesson eco-math link:

Here, you will find a four-way connect of math and ecological concerns.  Students will get the opportunity to investigate ways to improve their environment as well as analyze data, do some graphing, reasoning, problem solving, and more.

You'll find these lessons, along with inspiration (and illuminations) of ways to connect the real world (and real world ecological issues) with math.
 Seems like a one-way ticket to taking action, with an Earth Day frame of mind!! 
And Man created the plastic bag and the tin and aluminum can and the cellophane wrapper and the paper plate, and this was good because Man could then take his automobile and buy all his food in one place and He could save that which was good to eat in the refrigerator and throw away that which had no further use.  And soon the earth was covered with plastic bags and aluminum cans and paper plates and disposable bottles and there was nowhere to sit down or walk, and Man shook his head and cried:  "Look at this Godawful mess."  ~Art Buchwald, 1970

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