Skitchdork International!

22 June , 2012

The book that proves you don’t need artistic talent to make people giggle at least once! (Or your money back (maybe)).

Go to Skitchdork – international edition to get your pretty cheap copy! (I AM the cheap researcher, after all.)

But please DO read the disclaimer, I don’t want you guys angry at me for not delivering the goods 😉

100 ideas for teaching mathematics (book tip)

4 November , 2011


One of my favorite authors when it comes to books about mathematics, must be Mike Ollerton. We use some of his books as curriculum on our courses within teacher education. For example, we used Inclusive mathematics on one of our master courses in mathematics education.
Mike Ollerton has written several books, and you can find most of them (I guess) on Amazon and other sites.

This book is just what the title says – it contains 100 starters for mathematics classes. They are more or less grouped by topic, although some activities might fit in everywhere. I have just read through this book, and I must say I found several new tips, activities and tasks that I could and will incorporate into my own lectures at the mathematics education department. I wasn’t able to find the solutions to all the activities as I read along, but I did some, and some where also what I would call classics of mathematics.

You must have a very bad imagination if you don’t find many activities to adopt to your classroom in this book! 🙂

Ollerton’s pedagogical way of thinking is quite clear from seeing these activities. It’s not about givint the students questions and tasks, but rather activities and problems. Some of the ideas  might not even have a specific answer to be found. The activities are also expanded upon by providing hints for how the teacher could take the ideas even further.

I’d like to mention one little tip that my students liked very much. My students arrive by bus mostly, and there are always one or two buses that arrive late, and some students who have to wait a couple of minutes. I then gave each pair of students five die as they arrived, and instructions to throw them all once. The problem is to make use of the five numbers in order to arrive at 100 in one way or another. They can use plus, minus, division, multiplication and parentheses as they like. There appeared to be something within this activity that made them sit there thinking quite hard. Could all throws result in 100? (Of course not, five ones can not be made into 100). How many hundreds can be made? (Well, with 6 to the power of 5 possibilities I doubt that that is easy to find out). Perhaps if we also included powers…

I highly recommend this book for anyone teaching or learning or being interested in mathematics. You can order it quite cheap from Amazon og

The magic of reality

28 October , 2011

I really enjoy Richard Dawkins, so I try to get my hands on everything he publishes. He is probably most known for his book “The God Delusion”, who, obviously, is about arguing against the existence of any deities. He has also appeared in many documentaries, like “The enemies of reason”, handling topics on how religion tries to hinde

r scientific progress, and refuse to consider facts and knowledge. His previous book was mainly about evolution, the lovely “The greatest show on earth”. He really has a way of finding nifty titles. Now, I just finished The magic of reality, his newest book. This book is aimed towards the younger audience being more explanatory in the style of writing. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading it.

Most of the book deals with natural phenomena, and myths that science has helped getting rid of. We get chapters about the rainbow, the universe, big bang, time, earthquakes, the creation of the earth and so on. We get myths from ancient cultures and religions and see how science explain them all away, whether it is tribal lore or christian dogma.
There is also an iPad version of the book, which I am thinking about purchasing as well. It is promised to be full of interactive content, and judging by the look of the paper edition of the book – it has to be great!
I don’t know how Dawkins stands it, but he actually appeared on a TV show hosted by one of my favorite morons, Bill O’Reilly. O’Reilly being as obnoxious as usual (Seeing this from Norway, I had to check with my American twitter people that he really IS that bad all the time) and Dawkins doing his best to sport a smile when faced with stupidity and silly accusations. (Yes this is the guy that claimed noone can explain tidal waves, but God made sure there’s never a miscommunication (right before the wave hit USA terribly)).
See Richard Dawkins’ web page here: