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Promethean Flipchart: Applications of Planes January 31, 2011

Posted by Edward Deleon in : Uncategorized , add a comment

The geometry of planes seems to have few, but straightforward applications. The floors in a high-rise are examples of parallel planes. Where the wall meets the floor is an example of intersecting planes.

Our latest Promethean Flipchart offers a rich, real-world application: fossils and the geology of sedimentary rocks.

It turns out that the way that sedimentary rocks are formed (and as a result, how fossils found within these rocks are created) can be explained through an understanding of the properties of planes.

We visit the Burgess Shale fossils in Canada to learn more about fossil formation. This provides an opportunity to expand on planes and their properties.

Through this Flipchart, students will learn about the following concepts:

In the process students will learn a great deal about fossils, geology, the age of the Earth, and indirect measurement of height from dinosaur footprints.

You can find this Flipchart here.

Note: You do not need to have a Promethean White Board to use our Flipcharts. You can download the Active Inspire Software free. Follow this link:

Promethean Flipchart: Applications of Lines January 25, 2011

Posted by Edward Deleon in : geometry, graphing calculators, math, media, Uncategorized , 1 comment so far

Most modern cities are laid out in a rectangular grid made up parallel and perpendicular lines. Even ancient cities show this pattern. Why is this arrangement of lines so popular?

In this video-based Promethean Flipchart, we visit the city of Houston, Texas, to analyze its city grid to learn more about the properties of lines.

We review the properties of lines.

We explore the properties of lines using the TI-Nspire (all keystrokes are clearly shown).

We have Geogebra versions of these hands-on explorations.

Through these activities and explorations, students get a real-world understanding of the following geometry concepts:

In the process students learn about city planning, traffic flow, energy conservation, and optimization.

This Flipchart includes nearly twenty minutes of video and all the media resources to supplement your core instruction for a unit on lines. The video in this Flipchart is from Media4Math’s Geometry Applications video series.

You can find this Flipchart here.

Note: You do not need to have a Promethean White Board to use our Flipcharts. You can download the Active Inspire Software free. Follow this link:

Promethean Flipchart: Applications of Angles January 24, 2011

Posted by Edward Deleon in : geometry, graphing calculators, math, media, Uncategorized , add a comment

In our latest Promethean Flipchart, we go to Himeji, Japan, to study its amazing castle.

This wooden structure has survived for centuries, and a lot of this has to do with its effective use of angles to make this fortification practically impossible to attack. Himeji Castle is a case study in the creative use of angles.

The Flipchart begins with a review of angles.

This video-based Flipchart uses clips from the Geometry Applications video series.

The analysis of Himeji explores the following concepts:

In their analysis of these concepts students will also learn about Japanese culture, line of sight, military fortifications, and architecture.

Hands-on explorations include the TI-Nspire. All calculator keystrokes are clearly shown.

In addition, we have the same hands-on activity done with the Geogebra software

You can find this Flipchart here.

Note: You do not need to have a Promethean White Board to use our Flipcharts. You can download the Active Inspire Software free. Follow this link:

Our Latest Promethean Flipchart: Geometry Applications–Points January 22, 2011

Posted by Edward Deleon in : geometry, graphing calculators, math, media, Uncategorized , add a comment

In geometry class we’re told that a point is dimensionless. Yet, we always represent a point as a dot on a page or a computer screen. This can cause some confusion with students, since an abstract point is shrouded in the context of a non-dimensionless representation.

To challenge the notion that points are objects, we investigate the nature of matter–subatomic particles. These tiniest of particles of matter are even smaller than the dots used to represent points. Could an electron or proton be used as model for a point?

In our video investigation we visit the CERN laboratory in Switzerland to learn about subatomic particles. We learn that these particles are indeed so small that they cannot be seen.

Students are encouraged to challenge the notion that particles of matter, no matter how small, are NOT geometric points. In fact, the notion of geometric points allows us to construct a model of subatomic particles.

Thus, by eliminating a potential misconception, the ground is cleared for a mathematical discussion of geometric points.

The rest of the Flipchart includes TI-Nspire and Geogebra activities that explore the properties of

You can find this Flipchart here.

Note: You do not need to have a Promethean White Board to use our Flipcharts. You can download the Active Inspire Software free. Follow this link:

Our latest Promethean Flipchart: Applications of Circles to the Roman Pantheon January 11, 2011

Posted by Edward Deleon in : Uncategorized , add a comment

In our latest video-based Promethean Flipchart we explore how to apply the geometry of circles to an analysis of the Roman Pantheon.

The Pantheon is a Roman Temple with a cylindrical body and a circular dome. It was a religious temple during the time of the Romans and later was converted to a Catholic church. But the architecture of the building reveals an ancient tradition that deals with astronomy. And to understand that involves knowing some key concepts from circles.

The video goes on to describe:

The inside of the Pantheon is dramatic. The only source of light is from above, through the opening called the oculus.

The interior is a large circle and thinking of the oculus as a pinprick of light allows for an exploration of inscribed angles and central angles.

Students explore the relationship between the central angle and the inscribed angle using the TI-Nspire (a separate screen shows all the keystrokes).

We also provide a video clip showing how to do the same hands-on exploration using Geogebra (a free software program).

We then follow up with the observation that the oculus does not create a pinprick of light, but rather a column of light. Geometrically, this means two parallel chords.

Creating a scale model of the great circle and the oculus, students model this column of light and measure the intercepted arc. This is also done on the Nspire and Geogebra.

The results reveal a fascinating property of the Pantheon and explains why on the winter and summer solstices, the column of light can be found at the entrance to the Pantheon.

The Roman Pantheon is not only a religious temple, but also a kind of astronomical observatory. The Pantheon was built in such a way that the alignment of the sun and the Earth, relative to the seasons of the year, was crucial. A knowledge of properties of circles was clearly apparent to the builders and provides us with an excellent, real-world example of the usefulness of geometry.

You can find this Flipchart here.

Note: You do not need to have a Promethean White Board to use our Flipcharts. You can download the Active Inspire Software free. Follow this link:

About our new video-based Promethean Flipcharts January 6, 2011

Posted by Edward Deleon in : Uncategorized , add a comment

Media4Math produces video content and our traditional model is to make these videos available on DVD. This year, however, we are going to make them available as embedded videos on Promethean Flipcharts. The clear advantage of this is that the media is already embedded in the Flipchart ready for use in the classroom.

Promethean Flipchart: Application of Circles

This month we release our first such video-based Flipchart. We take a segment from the Geometry Applications series, one that focuses on a real-world application of circles. This video segment focuses on the Roman Coliseum.

This application also allows you to bring in some social studies connections. A nice Web activity is to use Google Maps to find the Coliseum in Rome.

An overhead view of the Coliseum shows that it is an oval, not a circle.

The question arises, How did the Romans create a smooth elliptical structure like this? The video goes into detail contrasting the ease of constructing a circle versus the challenge of creating an elliptical structure.

Roman engineers used a surveying tool called the Groma for laying the framework of a structure.

Using a Groma, it is relatively easy to construct a circular structure. Not so with an elliptical one.

So, how did the Romans do it? The video goes into great detail on how circular arcs played a roll in the construction of the elliptical structure. A hands-on activity (using the TI-Nspire or the Geogebra software) has students construct these very arcs.

This video is a rich interdiscplinary experience for students. They will gain an appreciation of architecture, engineering, and the world of ancient Rome. They will also see how geometry has always been pivotal in the great cultural works and monuments that stand the test of time.

You can find this Flipchart here.

Note: You do not need to have a Promethean White Board to use our Flipcharts. You can download the Active Inspire Software free. Follow this link:

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