Thursday, October 16, 2008

Relax. Check out tygh****

Leisure, by W.H. Davies -

What is this life, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like stars at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Finish the smile her eyes began.

A poor life this, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Geoff Dellow of U.K. has a site named - for some reason not mentioned on the site itself, tygh. Actually, coming to think of it, this is the url; the site doesn't appear to have a name! I wonder if the pronunciation is like tiger or dig or something else altogether? Oh well, some things in life remain mysteries. Which should not prevent you from going to this site and checking the fun math it offers! Geoff is a flash enthusiast, which means that basically his site is a way of showcasing how much fun flash can be, and how it can be used as an educational tool. For a flash based site, it doesn't take any time to load whatsoever. While it is loading - you can skip this though - you read the poem I have also quoted here :)

Try the various links to explore. They are easy, and fun to watch and use for teaching. Like the tangrams. I have amalgamated three screenshots below to make a composite, but the original is actually one figure morphing into another position, another figure playing football in a fast animation sequence. A little - too little animation, but nice intro to tangrams and what you can do with those magic seven pieces...

Check out the halves section for ideas on how many ways can you halve an object - in this case, a square. Perfect to use when you have introduced the subject of fractions, and the child has understood it well.

The tiles game is great maths - and for silly people like me who left their maths in school, it is still great! Kids enjoy this, because the premise of the game is click and see what happens, and that is what childhood is about.

The animated sequence of various geometrical figures tumbling down a straight line, drawing curves, is truly more than a thousand words, conveying the entire idea so simply. Ask a child what might happen if you marked a point on a square and tumbled it down the table - what would the point do in space - and it will be a difficult thing to grasp. But show him or her this, and you have planted ideas that will germinate and branch and grow roots.

That leaves us with just a couple of other links on the page - don't be lazy! Go check those out :)

The url -

P.S. I don't think I remember seeing this song - might have done, but who in India hasn't heard it? As a child, all it meant to me was the melody, and the first two lines extolling the loss of the rainy season worth millions, to a job paying two cents. Being a nature lover, I could totally empathize with someone not wanting to be in a stuffy office when it was raining outside... It was only a few years back when it suddenly hit me that the lady is talking more of passion and romance than of the season! Talk of naivety! Oh well. The seductive undertones not withstanding, it was still the song that came to mind when I read the poem above, so here it is -

P.P.S. 19th Oct. 08 edit -
I have received word from Geoff Dellow about the story behind tygh. I quote from his mail -
"Why tygh -

because it doesn't mean anything and therefore can be used for anything - I use it all the time for email so not meaning anything is handy.
secondly it's dead easy to type
third it was one of the few interesting four letter combinations available at the time

As for my site you've discovered one small part of it ! is by far the more important to me and believe it or not , to the mathematics experts like Prof Celia Hoyle of the London Institute of education.

Using Flash as kids have done develops mathematical thinking because it explores the use of logic in everything you do - what's more it's fun, which is important. "

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