Overview of the Week
The purpose of doing these activities and watching those videos for me was to really focus on simple aspects of team work and math to just refresh and be able to get ready for these harder challenges that we will have later on in the year. Some of these activities were really simple but were really helpful for just using your head and sometimes teamwork.
The first activity we did was the building shapes. This activity involved the whole group. Your group started with a piece of rope tied together in a loop. The goal was to make certain shapes such as a cube and pyramid using only the rope, while everybody had to have a hand on the final shape. This activity was really useful for teamwork and getting to know the people in your group while doing something that was pretty simple but fun.
The second activity was number visual pennies. This activity involved dividing pennies. You started with a group of 100 pennies and were then required to divide them into equal groups of 3,5,6,7,9 stacks. Each stack in the group had to have the same amount of pennies. Finding one solution was not very hard. Trying to find more solutions after the first one was a bit harder. This for me was really based around teamwork and different people contributing ideas.
The third activity was the one cut geometry. This involved a piece of paper which you then drew a non equilateral triangle on and then folded and tried to cut out the whole triangle with just one cut. This for me was one of the more frustrating activities because sometimes you would think you have a perfect cut, you would then unfold and find a piece of paper that had nothing to do with the triangle still attached.
The fourth activity was square mania. This had rectangle with lines going through that stated that it had a certain number of squares in it. The goal for you was to find all the squares that it stated it had. This was one of the activity's that I did not get at first because I was like there is only this many squares. You had to look at this from many different ways to be able to find all the squares. This showed me that sometimes to find the answer to a problem you have to look at a problem a completely different way.
There was also videos that we were shown on the same day as these activities. The first video talked about different strategies you can use for different situations and how they can you be more successful in your math career. The second video talked about that even though you may be the fastest at math that this does not mean that you are not good. More speed does not mean you are better. Some of the best mathematicians in the world take very long periods of time to solve problems. Taking your time can be key to getting the right answer. The third video talked about how your brain is like a muscle and that the more you work it the better you may get to be at math. If you never practice you will not get better. That is why it is key to work your brain every once in a while to keep it going strong. The fourth video talked about believing in yourself. Many times people who believe in themselves tend to do better in math because they are putting in effort and trying to learn. People with a negative attitude will not learn and will not do as well. The fifth video talked about how making mistakes in math was a good thing. Many times if you are getting everything right you are not learning anything. But if you are making mistakes you are learning new things, how not to do them, and how to do them.
The activity I chose to a talk more about was the one cut geometry. I chose to talk about this problem because it was one of the simpler ones but it was of the hardest ones for me to do. Different things I tried to solve this problem were making different sized triangles and trying to fold them different ways to get a different result. Some times I would encounter the challenge of my folds being off because I folding them wrong. I overcame this by making my lines darker and a bit thicker so I would be able to see them through the paper and not just have a general guess. One habit of a mathematician that I used was looking at it from different perspectives an really trying to find different ways that I thought would be successful. Trying all these different ways really helped me get a better idea on how to do this problem. Below are two of my attempts at trying to cut out the triangles. They were pretty close but still have some pieces attached that were not supposed to be there.
This week really helped show that the basics in math such as taking your time, asking for help, working as a team, and knowing that mistakes are not bad will help me be more successful this year. That if I am worried about something not being right to not be ashamed but to be proud about making a mistake. Also that you always ask some people around you if they want to work as a team or just asking for help. This week helped showed some of these things are basics but sometimes in math and in anything can be the most helpful and make you the most successful.