As a homeschool mom, we’ve had some days where we needed to do something different and outside-the-box. TED Talks have been a fun place to turn during times like this. Something new we’ve learned this year is that TED has interesting math videos! Here are four TED Talks for middle school kids who hate math, for those days when you really need to do something different, or need a bit of a break from the norm.
TED Talks For Middle School About Math
Who knew there was mathematical science about the best way to slice a birthday cake?! In this video, you’ll find out what that method is, when it was first discovered, and who discovered it. There are three open-ended discussion questions your child can answer once the video is complete.
Math is full of symbols: lines, dots, arrows, English letters, Greek letters, superscripts, subscripts … it can look like an illegible jumble. Where did all of these symbols come from? John David Walters shares the origins of mathematical symbols, and illuminates why they’re important in the field today.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9… and 0. With just these ten symbols, we can write any rational number imaginable. But why these particular symbols? Why ten of them? And why do we arrange them the way we do? This video would be more appropriate for older children and teens.
Why is ‘x’ the symbol for an unknown? In this short and funny talk, the presenter gives us a surprisingly simple answer.
Have you utilized any TED Talks for middle school kids to support what you’re teaching in your classroom? I’d love to hear about your favorites!
You may also like my article about How To Learn To Code For Free.
P.S. Another outside-the-box resource for math ideas is the book How To Turn $100 Into $1,000,000. It teaches important concepts about money, in a way that kids can understand. We highly recommend it! Read more about it on Amazon here.