Each production of the Prime Radicals is based upon the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics provided by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
The multi award-winning series takes the mystery out of math and puts the fun back into learning. Each episode takes viewers to Uncle Norm’s workshop, usually the scene of his latest misadventure. The Radicals—cousins Kevin and Alanna—come to the rescue every time by enlisting experts, such as a kite boarder, rancher or maple syrup expert, to help them solve Uncle Norm’s problems with mathematical solutions. Designed to engage and entertain, the educational component is subtle and fun, just what kids need to dive deeply into math, and see how it applies to nearly everything they do.
No Accounting For Taste: Counting Systems
Major concepts... the base 10 number system, place value, and addresses the fundamental issue of computational fluency. Of note is the fact that all examples emphasize the importance of place value, provide alternate strategies and algorithms for regrouping and multi-digit addition and subtraction; key teaching points in elementary mathematics. This episode is also about simple counting and counting devices.
Numberlicious! Doubling, Halving And More
Major concepts... math computation, measurement (volume, weight, temperature), and simple ratios. Following a recipe involves understanding and enacting a step-by-step process: applications of mathematical processes such as logic, sequential thinking and following directions. Recipes involve portions and measurements, often needing doubling for a large crowd or dividing for a smaller group, necessitating the application of arithmetic skills with fractions and whole numbers involving all the computational operations: adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing.
To Infinity And Beyond: Big Numbers & The Power Of Zero
Major concepts… understanding large numbers: their names and the enormity of their magnitudes. The concept of doubling is introduced using paper-folding to illuminate that once a very small quantity (like the thickness of a piece of paper) starts growing, it grows faster and faster, reaching magnitudes that are fantastical.
It’s About Time!
Major concepts… the measurement of time (to half-hours) and the units (hours and minutes) that we use to count elapsed time. Instruments for measuring time are introduced as is the concept of “reading” a clock. Telling time and counting minutes or hours helps to give meaning to the number system and represents an important life skill.
Show Me The Money: Currencies & Types Of Money
Major concepts… distinguishing between quantity and value with respect to coins; and, about combinations of coins—such as 25 pennies, 2 dimes and 5 pennies, 5 nickels, or 1 quarter (an important concept in decomposing numbers).
Ace The Lace: Patterns
Major concepts... patterning (over/under, left/right, in/out red/black) and following instructions. Perhaps most importantly, it underscores the significance of critical affective goals while demonstrating how different people, not just mathematicians, enjoy and appreciate mathematics. It all helps to instill a sense of wonder, curiosity and a positive attitude in our viewers when it comes to Math.
Code Name Rad: Geometric Codes
Major concepts... patterning and algebra; specifically the notions of color and geometric codes. Pictorial and graphical modes are employed to create, describe and represent a variety of patterns and introduce an early sense of variables.
Leader Of The Pack: Mixing & Matching
Major concepts… discovering all of the possible combinations for outfits consisting of shirts and shorts. The notion of using drawings, tree diagrams and cross diagrams is introduced as is the general rule or pattern for determining the total number of combinations.
Major concepts... tessellations and transformational geometry (e.g. slides, flips and turns). The suite of examples and activities in this program provide visual opportunities to experience arithmetic beyond numeric calculations. Tessellations provide visually rich opportunities to explore geometry, patterning, spatial sense/relationships and the exciting synthesis between mathematics and the visual arts.
Let’s Face It! Bilateral Symmetry
Major concepts.. bilateral symmetry (reflection symmetry) and geometric mirror images (reflections). We see how objects are symmetrical and how planes, space and shapes of the human face interconnect. We are introduced to the bilateral category of animals (including humans) that are more or less left/right symmetric and the sagittal (or median) plane, which divides the body into two halves of equal proportions.
Radical Reflections: Rotational Symmetry
Major concepts… rotational symmetry. The ways in which rotational symmetry occurs in nature, art and everyday shapes (e.g., hubcaps, Ferris wheels) is featured. These concrete examples are used to illustrate the ways in which lines of symmetry and positional relationships are determined.
Thinking Inside The Box: Vertices, Faces & Edges
Major concepts… the common mathematical solids: a family comprised of the cube, prism, pyramid, sphere and cone. A common theme highlighted throughout each illuminative example is not only what these polyhedra look like, but their properties and deconstruction, i.e., isolating faces and the way in which those faces fit together.
Rule Of Thumb: Approximation
Major concepts... defining a measurement unit; non-standard measurement units; non-standard measure; indirect measure (such as "a head taller") and estimates using referents. The notion of proportion is introduced using visual non-standard relationships within the human body that have been used for centuries by artists and designers.
Anything With Anything: Nonstandard Measurements
Major concepts... non-standard measurement units and estimates. It reinforces the notion that reliable measurement units can be derived from representational objects in the everyday world (apart from the human body, which is covered in Rule of Thumb). Visual proportionality is introduced, and children learn they can calculate measurement even without rulers, tape measures, etc.
Going The Distance: Meters
Major concepts… the meter and its relationship to the kilometer. By using real-world examples of how the meter and kilometer are used to measure linear distances as well as the tools used to measure standard and extremely long lengths, the episode demonstrates application of math beyond the classroom.
A Balancing Act: Fulcrum & Counterweights
Major concepts… the fact that in addition to length, height or color, objects have other measurable properties such as weight, and that you can measure and compare this property using specific tools and units. Scales are introduced to demonstrate one of the real-world tools for measuring weight, and the concepts of greater than, less than or equal to are used to demonstrate how balance can be used to determine weight.
A Cute Look At Angles
Major concepts… types of angles: acute, obtuse and right. The emphasis is on the right angle, right triangle and equilateral triangle and how they have been used in architecture and design through the ages.