Blog Parties for Teachers

Blog carnivals can be a wonderful source of inspiration and information. The Blog Parties for Teachers widget in my sidebar offers an wide assortment of recent carnivals on math and homeschooling.

The widget disappeared over the summer, as some carnivals (like the Homeschooled Kids Blog Carnival) went on hiatus — and as I just got too busy to maintain the list by hand. But now, with the new school year, I’ve found several new carnivals to explore, so I’ll try my best to keep the list up-to-date.

Enjoy!

P.S.: If you host an blog carnival for teachers or homeschoolers, please email me a link.


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Would Your Student Like to Start a Blog?

by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

“Writing is how we think our way into a subject and make it our own.”

– William Zinsser
Writing to Learn

Since the last recession, our homeschool co-op has been too small to support a blogging class, and I have seriously neglected my Blogging 2 Learn blog. So last week, I decided to refresh everything by starting up a new Blogging 101 Series. If your student has been longing to start a blog, you may want to check it out.


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“Let’s Play Math!” Blog on Facebook

I’m always a bit behind the times, and I don’t think I’ll ever get around to trying Twitter, but I have finally made a Facebook page. Not much there so far — a new video of one girl’s invented method for 2-digit multiplication, and a list of my games posts — but more will come over the next few weeks. Blog updates will post automatically (in theory), along with non-blog updates like that video. Above all, I’d love to answer questions from readers.

If you’re interested, please drop in for a visit.


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Updated Free Math from Dover

If you tried to get any of the Dover samples I linked to last month, and instead you got Dover’s home page, I’m sorry! Apparently the sampler links aren’t stable. :( I’ve corrected most of them and deleted those I couldn’t correct, so everything works as of tonight:

I found permanent links for several of the books, but a few of them are still sampler links — especially the children’s books — and those will probably go AWOL as the others did. So if you were planning to download one of the sample pages, be advised to do it soon.


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Still Time to Enter

You still have a few days to enter my giveaway contest for Keith Devlin’s new e-book, Leonardo and Steve: The Young Genius Who Beat Apple to Market by 800 Years, and his latest print book, The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci’s Arithmetic Revolution. The number of entries so far is low enough that you have very good odds of winning!

To join in the fun, just follow the instructions at this post:


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Please Ignore

Way back when I started this blog, I followed all the standard “how to start your blog” recommendations and registered with Technorati. But I never found the site very helpful, and over the years I’ve mostly ignored it. I mean, how can they not even have a category for education blogs?!

So it seems that sometime between 2006 and today, the Technorati computers lost my blog information, and I never noticed the difference. But for whatever it may be worth, I am hereby re-claiming this blog: NKVFADZPZMSX.

Can You Find These AWOL Math Websites?

by √oхέƒx™ via flickr

In the course of my bloggy spring cleaning, I’ve made some terrible discoveries. Some of my favorite resources have disappeared off the internet. Or perhaps they’ve moved, and I just haven’t found their new homes.

Do you know where these websites went?

A Very Short History of Mathematics

This irreverant romp through the history of mathematics by W. W. O. Schlesinger and A. R. Curtis was read to the Adams Society (St. John’s College Mathematical Society) at their 25th anniversary dinner, Michaelmas Term, 1948.

Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine found a copy, but I’d love to replace this link with the article’s new location:

[Warning: Do not attempt to read this article while drinking coffee or other spittable beverage!]

Update: James Clare found the article’s new home here. Thank you!

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If Your Feed Reader Is Full of “New” Posts

I confirmed my theory from the comments here: Only the WordPress.com feed is spammy. People who subscribed using the Feedburner links (email or rss) at the top of my sidebar are not getting flooded with “new” old posts. But if, like me, you just pasted the blog URL into Google Reader and let it find the rss link, you probably have the unprocessed WordPress.com feed — which has been flooded with junk lately, as I’ve edited my way through ancient history.

Since I have nearly 600 posts to work through, cleaning up old links and checking for dust bunnies, there will be plenty more of the “spam” coming your way. If it’s been bothering you, you might want to consider switching your blog reader to the Feedburner-processed rss feed.


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Bloggy Spring Cleaning Continues

Still on course with my state-sponsored blog overhaul, and Google Reader insists on displaying every old post as new. What a nuisance! The email feed seems unaffected. (And not everyone is having the problem with Reader, either — see Comments below.)

Amazon won the reader poll (and it’s my favorite, too), so I’m converting all my old affiliate book links to just-plain Amazon links. At the same time, I’m checking for dead links and other dust bunnies among the old posts. I’ve worked my way up to June 2007 — four more years to go — and then I’ll start on my blogroll (a monster task!) and other pages.

Like normal housecleaning, it never ends …

Does Anyone Know Where the La Habra Math Timeline Went?

The worst news so far is that the La Habra Math History Timeline has disappeared. What a shame! Does anyone out there know where it might have gone? I would love to link to its new site.

Thanks to the Wayback Machine, here’s a glimpse at the old site. Math discoveries, publications, and other tidbits — from paleolithic number bones to the present:

I changed the links on my Math Resources page to the wayback pages, too. My apologies to those who got sent to a junk site by the old, defunct links.


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Poll: Where Do You Buy Books?

Thanks to our insolvent state government, I need to go back and change all my book links. I never made much from the Amazon affiliate program, but it usually managed to cover Kitten’s school books. Oh, well, at least they haven’t closed the public libraries … yet …

Since I’m changing the old links anyway, I thought I’d give you all a chance to voice your opinions. Shall I continue to reference Amazon.com, or would you rather my book links took you to Barnes & Noble?

P.S.: For my rss subscribers, I apologize for the flood of old posts. Every time I make a change, it seems the feed releases the post anew. I’m afraid this will continue for a few weeks, since I’m using the affiliate mess as an excuse to do other long-neglected blog clean-up tasks as well. With 596 published posts, that will take awhile. I hate housecleaning!


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Have more fun on Let’s Play Math! blog:

Support Your Favorite Blog Carnival!

[Photo by kevindooley.]

A math carnival is like “the shop-front of the mathematics blogging world” — a place to browse and enjoy all the wide variety of mathematics on the web. Blog carnival hosts put in several hours of work every month to bring you the riches of the internet.

If you blog about learning or teaching math from pre-school to pre-college, now is the time to send in your contribution for this month’s Math Teachers at Play carnival. We welcome posts from parents, teachers, homeschoolers, and students — anyone who is interested in playing around with school-level or recreational math. Each of us can help others learn, so in a sense we are all teachers.

Support The Carnivals

The math carnivals are a great resource for all of us who enjoy reading and learning about mathematics, and especially for math bloggers who appreciate the wider audience the carnivals provide. But blog carnivals do not happen by themselves — there is a lot of work involved.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Leave a comment to thank and encourage the host.
  • Link to and promote the carnival on your blog or social network.
  • Volunteer to host a future edition at your own blog.
  • How to Host a Blog Carnival

Mike at Walking Randomly has hosted the Carnival of Mathematics two of the last three months, and that’s not good for the long-term health of the carnival. If you’re interested in helping out, check the future hosts tab at the blog carnival page and pick a month that works for you, then email Mike and tell him you’re available.

Similarly, you can check on upcoming editions of the Math Teachers at Play carnival, and let me know if you’d like to host. Or contact Guillermo Bautista to volunteer for Mathematics and Multimedia.

Recent Math Blog Carnivals

Did you miss any of these recent blog carnivals? Delightful mathy browsing is only a click away…

For homeschooling or other educational carnivals, check out the Blog Parties for Teachers widget in my sidebar. Enjoy!


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Top 10 Posts of 2010

Cartoon showing baby representing New Year 190...

Image via Wikipedia

2011 will be a fantastic year — or at least, a prime one! (See these posts by Gary, Pat, and James.) But as we move into the new year, it’s also a good time to look back and to look ahead: What did we accomplished last year? And what comes next?

More specifically, for bloggers:

  • What did people like to read?
  • How can I give them more of it?

So here is my retrospective look at the most popular blog posts of 2010, along with related blogging goals (or dreams?) for 2011.

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Logic Games at Blogging 2 Learn

http://www.wpclipart.com/money/. Per the licen...

Image via Wikipedia

For the rest of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), my other blog is featuring a logic game or puzzle every day. So far, I’ve shared three of my online favorites:

And there’s plenty more fun to come. Drop in every day until December to see a new puzzle or game:


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Accidental Publication — Aargh!

[Photo by striatic.]

If you came to my blog looking for a math history post about the Bernoullis, I’m sorry! I retracted the post immediately, but Google Reader has a long memory. The real post will be coming soon, when I’m done polishing up the draft and putting in links.
[Note to self: Use the Scheduling option to reset all drafts into 3010. No more accidents!]

Looking forward: A new Alexandria Jones story starts tomorrow. :D


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Congratulations, Kitten!

[Photo by dougwoods.]

Today is my daughter Princess Kitten’s blogiversary. Check out her post:

And then take some time to browse her blog. I think you’ll enjoy her stories. She’s even written a few things about math:

[Update: I just noticed that this is the 500th post to be published on Let’s Play Math! blog. Wow! I guess Kitten and I will both be celebrating today…]


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What Is a Blog Carnival Theme?


[Photo by Omar Omar.]

Here’s one more thing you need to know about How To Host a Blog Carnival.

Some of the Math Teachers at Play carnival hosts have asked about setting a theme for their carnivals. That can be either a good idea or a bad one, depending on what you mean by a theme…

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Fun Fair in Eastside

How To Host a Blog Carnival

[Photo by ell brown.]

Update March 2012

The blog carnival website has been unreliable for several months, which is why you will see strike-through on the paragraphs below that deal with that site. Please read the current information on these pages:

Do you want your blog to grow? One of the best ways to draw new readers to your blog is to get involved in an active blog carnival. Mike wrote an excellent article (What is a Maths Carnival?) explaining how carnivals work and how to submit an entry.

Now, if you’re ready to raise the ante a bit, let’s bring the carnival itself to your blog.

These instructions are specifically about the Math Teachers at Play (MTaP) blog carnival for classroom teachers, homeschoolers, and independent math learners. After all, that’s the carnival I know best. Still, most of the principles should apply to any blog carnival you might want to host.

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How To Start a Math Teacher Blog

[“Sophisticated Blogger” by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com.]

Blogging is more than just writing. It involves reading other people’s blogs and commenting, comparing thoughts about mathematics and ideas for teaching it, even getting involved in debates like the multiplication is or isn’t repeated addition kerfluffle. In a way, the blogging community acts like the Chinese “teaching research groups” mentioned in Liping Ma’s book, Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics.

What a coincidence! I wrote that paragraph last week for Math Mama’s book, and then this weekend I opened my backlogged Bloglines to discover a series of posts from some of my favorite math bloggers offering excellent advice on how to start a blog.

If you are a classroom teacher, homeschooler, or independent math learner who would like to get into blogging, check out these posts. And if you’re an experienced hand, please add your favorite blogging tips in the Comments section below.

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Best Articles about Solving Word Problems


[Photo by scui3asteveo.]

I’m still working on that Best of Blog page. [It’s done! :D] Here are the 20 best Let’s Play Math! blog articles about solving word problems (also known as story problems)…

Solving Word Problems

More recent posts tagged ‘Word problems’

Bar Diagrams Help Students Think

More recent posts tagged ‘Bar diagrams’

Other Post in the Best of Blog Series


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Best Math Humor, and a Few Teaching Tips


[Photo by T. Ruette.]

The Best of Blog project has become the monster that ate my life, but I am determined to finish the thing. [It’s done! :D] Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the chance to explore long-forgotten blog posts. If you’d like a laugh, try some of these…

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20 Best Math Games and Puzzles

[Photo by fdecomite.]

Over the years, Let’s Play Math! blog has grown into a sprawling mess of 480+ posts, which can make it very hard to find the specific math tip you’re looking for. The Archives page is nearly useless, with the articles organized by month of publication.

Therefore, I’ve begun putting together a Best of the Blog page, collecting the all-time favorite blog posts from each category. [It’s done! :D]

And where better to start than with my top hands-on activities?

Skim. Click. Explore. Have fun!

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New Domain Name

Technophobe that I am, it has taken me way too long to do this, but I finally bought my own domain name:

All old links should still work perfectly. But if you are willing to take a minute to update your Blogroll or other links to my posts, I would certainly appreciate it!


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Have You Noticed?

[Photo by apbeatty.]

Have you ever clicked a link from the Blog Parties for Teachers section of my sidebar? If not, you may be missing a lot of wonderful resources. Blog carnivals are a great way to keep up with the best of a particular teaching or homeschooling blog niche. I just updated all the links this morning. Check one out!

And please remember to send in your submission for next week’s Math Teachers at Play blog carnival. The spammers are up to 41 posts at last count :( , but I still have room for some *real* bloggers to join in the fun.


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What is a Math Carnival?

Over at Walking Randomly, Mike has posted a great explanation with FAQs:

You can send in articles now for either carnival:


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Top 10 Posts of 2009

[Photo by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com.]

Can you believe we’re almost a whole decade into the no-longer-new millennium? Traditionally, the last week of December marks a time to look back and to look ahead: What have we accomplished this year? And what comes next?

More specifically, for bloggers:

  • What did people like to read?
  • And how can we give them more of it?

Maria beat me to it. John did a twist on the topic. And here is my own retrospective look at the most popular blog posts from this year, along with related blogging goals for 2010.

Warning: All Lists are Biased

I’ve checked the total post views count as of Wednesday morning, December 30th. Any such list is biased toward posts that appeared earlier in the year. It’s almost impossible for anything written in November or December — even something as popular as Narnia math — to work its way into the Top Ten.

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My New Project: Blogging 2 Learn

Beginning in January, I will teach a 4th-12th grade Blogging 2 Learn class through our local homeschool co-op. For now, here is my research blog, testing ideas and trying to imagine myself as a new blogger:

Have you used blogs with your students? If so, I would love to hear your suggestions and comments. And whether you are an experienced or a wanna-be blogger, please share: What do you think a “Blogging to Learn” class should cover?


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Calling Homeschoolers: Teaching Advice Wanted

reading-aloud-by-betsssssy
[Photo by Betsssssy.]

Tom DeRosa of I Want to Teach Forever told me that he would love to have homeschool teachers or unschoolers contribute to his 52 Weeks, 52 Teachers Project. Just write a short response to the question:

  • “What is the most important advice you can give to other teachers?”

Continue reading