Category Archives: Life in General

Playful Math Snacks: Why Pi?

Photo by KaCey97078 (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr.
Photo by KaCey97078 (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr.

Teachers and other math nerds are preparing to celebrate an epic Pi Day on 3/14/15. Unfortunately, the activities I see on teacher blogs and Pinterest don’t include much actual math. They stress the pi/pie wordplay or memorizing the digits.

With a bit of digging, however, I found a couple of projects that let you sink your metaphorical teeth into real mathematical meat. So I put those in the March “Let’s Play Math” newsletter, which went out this morning to everyone who signed up for Tabletop Academy Press math updates.

If you’re not on the mailing list, you can still join in the fun:

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Math Snack: Why Pi?

In math, symmetry is beautiful, and the most completely symmetric object in the (Euclidean) mathematical plane is the circle. No matter how you turn it, expand it, or shrink it, the circle remains essentially the same. Every circle you can imagine is the exact image of every other circle there is.

This is not true of other shapes. A rectangle may be short or tall. An ellipse may be fat or slim. A triangle may be squat, or stand up right, or lean off at a drunken angle. But circles are all the same, except for magnification. A circle three inches across is a perfect, point-for-point copy of a circle three miles across, or three millimeters…


Tabletop Academy PressGet monthly math tips and activity ideas, and be the first to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions. Sign up for my Tabletop Academy Press Updates email list.


Fun with the Impossible Penrose Triangle

I found this delightful animation today:

Ball-travels-around-impossible-triangle

The ball is traveling around a shape that can’t exist in our real world: the Penrose triangle. This illusion is the basis for some cool art, like Escher’s Waterfall. And I’m using it in my Math You Can Play books as a design on the back of my playing cards:

A-2-3deck

Want to Play Around with the Penrose Triangle?

Here’s a few links so you can try it for yourself:

Penrose Lego by Erik Johansson (CC BY 2.0)
Penrose Lego by Erik Johansson (CC BY 2.0)

Book Update

Addition-Games

I’ve sent the first two Math You Can Play books to a copy editor (she edits the text part), so my focus this month is on finishing the illustrations and downloadable game boards. And designing the book covers — I think I’ll call this latest iteration done.

If everything stays on schedule, both Counting & Number Bonds and Addition & Subtraction should be available by mid- to late-spring. Fingers crossed…


Tabletop Academy PressGet monthly math tips and activity ideas, and be the first to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions. Sign up for my Tabletop Academy Press Updates email list.


Playful Math Snacks for February 2015

My February Tabletop Academy Press Updates newsletter went out this morning to everyone who signed up for math updates. If you signed up for Teresa’s fiction updates, please be patient. She writes much slower than an adult author, but we’re hoping to get her second book published in late spring.

I noticed a couple of people who joined the mailing list but neglected to ask for either the math or fantasy fiction updates — and we won’t send you any updates unless you ask for them! If you thought you signed up, but you didn’t receive this morning’s email (and it’s not in your spam folder by mistake), then leave me a comment here or just go sign up again.

If you’re not on the mailing list, you can still join in the fun:

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by Ξ at 360 blog
photo by Ξ at 360 blog

Math Snack: Fractal Valentines

What better way to say “I love you forever!” than with a pop-up fractal Valentine? My math club kids made these a couple years back, and they turned out great.

To make your card, choose two colors of construction paper or card stock. One color will make the pop-up hearts on the inside of your card. The other color will be the front and back of the card, and will also peek through the cut areas between the hearts. Fold the papers in half and cut them to card size.

Set the outer card aside and focus on the inside. The fractal cutting pattern is simple: press the fold, cut a curve, tuck inside, repeat…


Tabletop Academy PressGet monthly math tips and activity ideas, and be the first to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions. Sign up for my Tabletop Academy Press Updates email list.


Join My Mailing List for Math Tips and Book Updates

Tabletop Academy Press
Tabletop Academy Press:
Learning is a lifelong adventure.

Are you looking for playful ways to help your children learn math? Now you can get math tips and activity ideas by email, as well as find out when I put out a new book or revise an old one.

Check out my shiny new emailing list:

I hope to send out a “Math Snack” (no-preparation math activity idea) at least once a month. In the meantime, your sign-up bonuses include a 4-page article on solving word problems and a pre-publication peek at my new Math You Can Play book series of games for preschool to prealgebra.

Tabletop Academy Press has been my publishing name since way back when my books were printed at the local copy shop and stapled together by hand for sharing with local homeschoolers. Seems like ancient days!

Free This Weekend

BanishedKindleCover

Our Christmas gift to you: my daughter’s fantasy adventure Banished will be FREE for Kindle on Amazon.com this weekend only, December 11-15.

I don’t know whether the other Amazons (UK, CA, AU, IN, etc.) will also run the sale, but I hope so.

As I type, the paperback edition is also on sale at a 10% discount, though we have no control over how long Amazon will be offering that price. Banished is part of the Kindle Matchbook program, so if you buy a copy of the paperback, you can get the ebook for free — even after our weekend sale runs out.

Read an excerpt: the first four chapters of Banished

Don’t have a Kindle? You can get a Kindle app that will let you read Teresa’s book on almost any device.

Watch for Upcoming Books

The second book in The Riddled Stone series is scheduled for publication in Spring 2015, and so are the first two volumes of my Math You Can Play series. If you want a head’s-up when these books arrive, be sure to join my Tabletop Academy Press Updates email list:

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And Be Thankful

[Feature photo (above) by alicepopkorn via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).]

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness,
humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive
whatever grievances you may have against one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love,
which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
since as members of one body you were called to peace.
And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly
as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom,
and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God.

And whatever you do,
whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.

— Colossians 3:12-17

[Taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, (c)1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.]