Posted by: jwhiff | December 5, 2020

Existentialism in Education

Posted by: jwhiff | October 26, 2020

The Space In Between: A Digital Photo Essay

Posted by: jwhiff | November 1, 2018

Decimals in the Real World

Decimals for Real

Posted by: jwhiff | October 26, 2018

Great Websites for Middle

Visual Patterns: so great for giving kids lots of practice generating equations with variables.  Also great for inspiring kids to create their own patterns.

Fraction Talks: a variation on number talks.  Bring up an image, choose a section of the image and ask…what fraction is shaded? Can extend this by challenging students to shade in sections of images (Can you shade exactly 1/4?)

Estimation180: again, another wonderful, visual site. Students make reasonable estimates, using “probably too high” or “probably too low” goal posts.  They can submit their estimates and their reasoning.  Also:  look at the clothesline activities.  Free printable clothesline numbers such as integers, fractions, and expressions.

Which One Doesn’t Belong: Inspires lively mathematical discussion and debate using mathematical reasoning.  Ready to use images make for a great mathematical routine.

101 Questions: So much fun!  This is a link to a spreadsheet with all kinds of interesting estimation and reasoning tasks using videos and images.

Would You Rather: Another good mathematical reasoning routine.

Open Middle: Select your grade and your topic.  Interesting challenges and puzzles in a visual framework appear.  An excellent “when you are finished” routine.

Graphing Stories: again, another visual one.  You are given a basic handout (grid) and asked to graph the video stories provided.

Susan’s Math Games: Handy site for games and puzzles!

Posted by: jwhiff | October 24, 2018

Good Math Games for Middle

Going on a search for good games.  I will be working with a colleague of mine to put together our own videos, but I needed a few in my back pocked to give me a start:

Math Dice (uses a target number generated by making one dice the base number and a second dice the exponent…students have to roll three dice and get as close to the target number as possible)

Math Race (students have a number line from 0-20.  They roll three dice that they use in any combination with any operations.  Answers are crossed off in order from the number line.  The first to have all numbers in the number line crossed off wins!)

Race to 100 (Remember this game?  How about a variation…race to 1!  You can use a chart with hundredths instead of whole numbers)

Will continue next post.

We know they intersect!  My colleague and friend, Rob Cowie, put hours of work into matching them up in meaningful ways for us.  Enjoy!

Principles of Learning Core Competencies

Posted by: jwhiff | October 20, 2018

Basic Shapes and Cultural Connections

There are 2 reasons for getting to know the shape possibilities of two right angle triangles:

  1. It helps students make sense of more complex shapes
  2. It is an opportunity to root shapes in cultural stories

The following power point ventures into the world of shape as a story-telling vehicle.  Take a look!

Shape Shifters Basic Shapes and Cultural Connections

By the way, when you click the link, it will take you to another link.  Click again and you will be able to view the Power Point.

Posted by: jwhiff | October 2, 2018

Habitat Loss Numbers

Just in the middle of developing a new mystery numbers and I’ve come across some fascinating resources.  Here they are:

The Value of Natural Capital

The Value of Nature and the Nature of Value

Capital Region District: Habitat Loss and Degradation

World wildlife fund

Will keep working away on this over the coming week.

Posted by: jwhiff | August 7, 2018

MN13: Chris Hadfield (Canadian Hero 4)

I feel like I’m on a roll here! I am very happy to find yet another excellent Canadian with a collection of interesting numbers. Thank you, Chis Hadfield.

New to Mystery Numbers? Click the headings for more information.

The Numbers:











Units and Important Matching Terms:




Year (their are 3 different years in the number list)




st Canadian to…

Expert Source: click here

Make sure that you let all students read the expert source. Did they match up the terms/units with the numbers properly? They should also use the expert source to add extra information to each matching pair. For example: 100,000,000 is paired with km, but it is also important to know that Chris Hadfield travelled 100,000,000 in space from Dec. 2012-May 2013.

Early Finishers?

Find extra interesting facts about Chris Hadfield!


Posted by: jwhiff | August 7, 2018

MN12: Dr. Roberta Bondar (Canadian Hero 3)

I worked very hard to find good numbers on Dr. Roberta Bondar. It was a major victory when I finally did! I recommend following this with Chris Hadfield (MN13).

New to Mystery Numbers? Click headings for more information.

The Numbers:











Units and Important Matching Terms:

th Flight




Million miles*




st Canadian female astronaut


*the km number is actually listed as million km (5,470 million km instead of 5,470,000,000). I puzzled over the unit and thought it might be clearer to list the number in plain kilometres. I kept the million miles number simply for discussion and comparison. You can change these numbers any way you wish.

Expert Source: Click here

As with Terry Fox and Rick Hansen, provide each student with the research link to make matches and find more information.

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