Curious Math: Foundations of Math is LIVE on @iTunesU

A Collaborative Collection of 3 Act Math Tasks for Gr 6-10

Curious Math Foundations of Math Live on iTunes U


Recently, Jon Orr and I were talking about the struggle to easily share our 3 Act Math Tasks with colleagues both near and far. Our current setup was limited primarily to posting a summary of our tasks on our blog; including streaming video, some images, and even PDF files from time to time. After leading a number of workshops where some participants struggled with developing a way to bring the task into their own classroom, we started dumping the video files, images, keynote slide decks and documents into a shared Google Drive folder. Still, some were struggling with the idea of having to download tasks from the cloud, especially on mobile devices.

When I began experimenting with iTunes U as a tool to distribute resources to teachers at professional development sessions, I quickly realized that it was very convenient and easy for all users to access. Thus, Jon and I set out to create an iTunes U Course as a tool for math teachers to download all the necessary media files directly to their iOS device and allow them to lead a task straight from their mobile device.

We’re also excited to announce that the course is now featured on the main iTunes U site and is also on the Apple Distinguished Educators on iTunes U site!

Curious Math iTunes U Course Featured on Main iTunes U Page

iTunes U Course Overview:

Course Information & Instructors

Once you jump into the Curious Math iTunes U Course, you’ll get a chance to read some information about the course. While Jon and I originally created the course as a resource for Grade 9 Applied Math Teachers in Ontario, the tasks included could be used in a range of grades beginning at around Grade 6 to around Grade 10 in most curriculums (i.e.: Common Core State Standards, CCSS). On the Instructors page, you’ll get a chance to learn a bit more about Jon and I.

Curious Math iTunes U Course - 00 Course Information

Curious Math iTunes U Course - Instructors Jon Orr and Kyle Pearce

Course Outline & Task List

On the Outline page, you’ll see the wide variety of Big Ideas as well as some of the more specific topics that we hit in this course. The Big Ideas and the tasks related to each include:

Curious Math iTunes U Course - 02 Course Outline and Topics

Course Posts

When you tap the Posts button, you’ll be able to jump to tasks related to any of the Big Ideas along the left pane, while getting a quick preview of each task along the right.

Curious Math iTunes U Course - 03 Summary of Posts and Content

Post Summary

Tapping on a task, such as Mowing the Lawn, you’ll get a quick summary as well as access to the “Assignments” or resources:

Curious Math iTunes U Course - 04 Mowing the Lawn Task Details

Curious Math iTunes U Course - 05 Mowing the Lawn Task Assignments and Links

Teacher Resource Guide

Jon and I provided a Teacher Resource Guide for each task that gives an overview of the task as well as some teacher moves you may wish to use in your classroom. We tried to give a snapshot of how we have used each of these tasks in the past, but you are more than welcome to take different angles and approaches when you use the tasks.

Curious Math iTunes U Course - 06 Mowing the Lawn Task Teacher Resource Guide

Videos and Images Download To Your iPhone/iPad

One of the most useful features of iTunes U is the ability to attach media files like videos that are downloaded directly to your iOS Device. By having the video file on your device, you avoid having to stream video from YouTube, Vimeo, or another cloud based file service. This makes it very easy for all teachers, experienced with technology and those who are not, to be able to use 3 act math tasks in their classroom.

Curious Math iTunes U Course - 07 Mowing the Lawn Task Includes Video and Image Files

Curious Math iTunes U Course - 08 Mowing the Lawn Task Videos Play Right From iTunes

Curious Math iTunes U Course - 09 Mowing the Lawn Task Images and Files

Math Task Template PDF Files

Many of the tasks also include some of our additional digital supports such as Math Task Template Files. While I’ve been cutting back on my use of these types of supports in my own classroom, I do find them very useful when you are using 3 Act Math Tasks for the first time.

Curious Math iTunes U Course - 10 Mowing the Lawn Math Task Template in PDF Form

Mowing The Lawn 3 Act Math Task Template PDF File Resource

Formative Assessments Using Gameshow by Knowledgehook

The crew at Knowledgehook just released a brand new feature for their Free Gameshow tool that Jon and I had been asking for specifically for use in our Curious Math iTunes U Course. The Gameshow “Embed” feature now allows ready-made or custom Gameshows created by teachers to be embedded into websites, blogs, learning management systems and even iTunes U! If you haven’t tried gameshow before, check out a blog post I created a few months back with a screencast tutorial.

As you can see below, by tapping on the Gameshow link included in assignments, you’ll be taken to Safari in iOS to some formative assessment questions related to that task. Ideally, the teacher would copy this link and share it with their students in whatever form they would prefer.

Curious Math iTunes U Course - 13 Mowing the Lawn Knowledgehook Gameshow Formative Assessment

While students are able to do their work on a whiteboard or in a pencil/paper notebook, some students prefer to take a screenshot and use an annotation app like GoodNotes 4, Penultimate, or Notability.

Curious Math iTunes U Course - 14 Complete Knowledgehook Gameshow on iPad or on Paper

Gameshow is also pretty cool because they gamify the math classroom using XP points and a leaderboard:

Curious Math iTunes U Course - 15 Knowledgehook Gameshow CORRECT

Curious Math iTunes U Course - 16 Knowledgehook Gameshow Gamified Leaderboard

So if you haven’t jumped into the Curious Math iTunes U Course yet, give it a closer look by enrolling below:



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About Kyle Pearce

I’m Kyle Pearce and I am a former high school math teacher. I’m now the K-12 Mathematics Consultant with the Greater Essex County District School Board, where I uncover creative ways to spark curiosity and fuel sense making in mathematics. Read more.

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