Category Archives: Math Carnival

Math Teachers at Play #85

[Feature photo by Tomruen via Wikimedia Commons.]

MTaP-85

Do you enjoy math? I hope so! If not, browsing the articles linked in this post just may change your mind.

Welcome to the 85th edition of the Math Teachers At Play math education blog carnival‌—‌a smorgasbord of links to bloggers all around the internet who have great ideas for learning, teaching, and playing around with math from preschool to pre-college.

By tradition, we start the carnival with a short puzzle or activity. But if you would like to jump straight to our featured blog posts, click here to see the Table of Contents.

Let the mathematical fun begin!

TRY THIS PUZZLE

centered-triangular-numbers

In honor of our 85th edition, I present: the centered triangular numbers.

You can build centered triangles with stones in a sandbox, or with any small manipulative that won’t roll away. Like all figurate numbers, the centered triangles start with the number one: a single stone. Imagine this as a triangle with a stone at each corner and sides of length zero.

Around this, you build the next triangle, which has 2 stones on each side. The sides are one unit long. Four stones in all, so the second centered triangular number is 4.

Then build a 3-stones-per-side triangle centered around that. Each new side is 2 units long, and we’ve used a total of 10 stones so far. The third centered triangular number is ten.

Keep building triangles centered around each other, each with one more stone per side. Each triangle’s sides are one unit longer than the sides of the triangle just inside it.

  • 85 is a centered triangular number. How many triangles will you need to use up 85 stones? (Don’t forget to count the first stone as a triangle.)
  • Can you find a pattern in the numbers?
  • What other centered polygon shapes can you build?
  • High school students: Can you find an equation to fit the pattern?



TABLE OF CONTENTS

And now, on to the main attraction: the blog posts. Many articles were submitted by their authors; others were drawn from the immense backlog in my rss reader. If you’d like to skip directly to your area of interest, click one of these links.

And since I’ve been in a bookish mood lately, each section includes a link to one of my favorite under-appreciated (5 reviews or fewer) math book. The covers link to Amazon.com, where I get a few cent’s commission if you actually buy something‌—‌but you should be able to borrow all these books through your local library or library loan system.

Math Teachers at Play #85: a smorgasbord of great ideas for learning, teaching, and playing around with math. http://ctt.ec/8N2Br+

Click to tweet: Math Teachers at Play #85: a smorgasbord of great ideas for learning, teaching, and playing around with math.


EARLY LEARNING ACTIVITIES

Math from Three to Seven: The Story of a Mathematical Circle for Preschoolers by Alexander Zvonkinmath3-7

This book is a captivating account of a professional mathematician’s experiences conducting a math circle for preschoolers in his apartment in Moscow in the 1980s‌—‌what he tried, what worked, what failed, but most important, what the kids experienced.

  • Thomas Hobson (@TheTeacherTom) slows down to model “safe and proper woodworking procedures” while the children keep track‌—‌debating, frequently recounting, always rearranging, stacking, building, making patterns.

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ELEMENTARY EXPLORATION AND MIDDLE SCHOOL MASTERY

More Math Games & Activities from Around the World by Claudia Zaslavskymoremathgames

Math, history, art, and world cultures come together in this delightful book for kids, even for those who find traditional math lessons boring. More than 70 games, puzzles, and projects encourage kids to hone their math skills as they calculate, measure, and solve problems.

  • Julie (@jmommymom) and family read the math fairy tale book The Man Who Counted: A Collection of Mathematical Adventures and try their hand at the Four 4s challenge.
  • Spencer Olmsted’s class is on fire with math patterns. “It’s a wonderful thing to connect a physical model, the ordered pairs that describe it, and a graph‌—‌it’s practically poetry.”

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ADVENTURES IN BASIC ALGEBRA & GEOMETRY

Mathematical Cavalcade by Brian Boltmathcavalcade

This collection of puzzles, games and activities is designed to stimulate and challenge people of all ages who enjoy puzzles with a mathematical flavor. The second part of the book contains a commentary giving hints and solutions.

  • Stephen Cavadino (@srcav) says, “I love it when my student talk maths well, and this post looks at an interesting discussion my year 9s had on perimeter.”
  • Tina Cardone (@crstn85) gets a seasonal reminder that extended wait time and letting kids ask us for help rather than continuing the conversation as soon as they have responded really does work.

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ADVANCED MATHEMATICAL ENDEAVORS

A Decade of the Berkeley Math Circle: The American Experience by Zvezdelina Stankova, Tom Rikeberkeleymath

A wide variety of enticing mathematical topics: from inversion in the plane to circle geometry; from combinatorics to Rubik’s cube and abstract algebra… Also features 300 problems, ranging from beginner to intermediate level, with occasional peaks of advanced problems and even some open questions.

  • Dan MacKinnon (@mathrecreation) uses The Geometer’s Sketchpad to construct patterns through iteration. Working through how to build iterations helps teach basic principles of geometric construction as well as more advanced ideas (self similarity, limits).
  • Bob Lochel (@bobloch) develops a new perspective on imaginary numbers. “The bulbs have gone off. I GET this now! What I appreciate most here is that we don’t need to wait until deep into algebra 2 to think about the imaginary unit.”
  • Have you ever wondered where Euler’s Formula comes from? See how arithmetic, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus dance together on the complex plane to create mathematical beauty.

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PUZZLING RECREATIONS

The Universe in a Handkerchief: Lewis Carroll’s Mathematical Recreations, Games, Puzzles, and Word Plays by Martin Gardneruniversehandkerchief

Puzzles and paradoxes from Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland, whose interests ranged from inventing new games like Arithmetical Croquet to important problems in symbolic logic and propositional calculus. Written by Carroll expert and well-known mathematics author Martin Gardner.

  • Mario Livio (@Mario_Livio) leads NOVA viewers on a mathematical mystery tour‌—‌an exploration of math’s astonishing power across the centuries. Is math a human invention or the discovery of the language of the universe?

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TEACHING TIPS

Common Core Math For Parents For Dummies by Christopher Danielsoncommon core math

Many new teaching methods are very different from the way most parents learned math, leading to frustration and confusion as parents find themselves unable to help with homework or explain difficult concepts. This book cuts the confusion and shows you everything you need to know to help your child succeed in math.

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LOOKING AHEAD

And that rounds up this edition of the Math Teachers at Play carnival. I hope you enjoyed the ride.

The next installment of our carnival will open sometime during the week of May 25-29 at ZenoMath. If you would like to contribute, please use this handy submission form. Posts must be relevant to students or teachers of preK-12 mathematics. Old posts are welcome, as long as they haven’t been published in past editions of this carnival.

Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival information page.

We need volunteers for the fall semester. Classroom teachers, homeschoolers, unschoolers, or anyone who likes to play around with math (even if the only person you “teach” is yourself) — if you would like to take a turn hosting the Math Teachers at Play blog carnival, please speak up!


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.


Do You Blog About Math?

[Image by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr.]

It’s carnival time again. Activities, games, lessons, hands-on fun — if you’ve written a blog post about math, we’d love to have you join our Math Teachers at Play (MTaP) math education blog carnival.

Posts must be relevant to students or teachers of school-level mathematics (that is, anything from preschool up through first-year calculus). Old posts are welcome, as long as they haven’t been published in past editions of this carnival.

Tweet: Do You Blog About Math? Share Your Post! Enter the April #math education carnival.  http://ctt.ec/2IeU9+Don’t procrastinate: The deadline for entries is next Monday, April 20 extended to Friday, April 24. The carnival will be posted at … Well, we don’t have a host yet. Would you like to volunteer?

Click to tweet about the carnival.
(No spam, I promise! You will have a chance to edit or cancel the tweet.)

Have you noticed a new math blogger on your block that you’d like to introduce to the rest of us? Feel free to submit another blogger’s post in addition to your own. Beginning bloggers are often shy about sharing, but like all of us, they love finding new readers.

Continue reading Do You Blog About Math?

Math Teachers at Play #84 via Math Hombre

Rectangles, fractions, prime factorization, dancing, puzzles, great books, and so much more — check out all the fun at the March Math education blog carnival:

But Before You Go…

I’m running out of carnival hosts! Would you like to volunteer? It’s a bit of work, but great fun, too. Leave a comment here, or send me an email.

Excerpt:

Welcome to the 84th Math Teachers at Play Blog Carnival!
MTaP84

84 is a portentous number. It’s the sum of twin primes (What’s the previous sum of twin primes? Next?). It’s thrice perfect, twice everything. It’s positively Orwellian. It’s even a town in Pennsylvania.

84 puzzler 1:
Number the intersections of these five circles with the integers 1 to 20 so that the points on each circle sum to the same.

It was a good month for math reading related posts …

Click here to go read the math blog carnival.


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.


Education Bloggers: Share Your Post!

photo by Omar Omar via flickr[Image by Omar Omar (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr.]

Please Note: We need volunteers to host future carnivals! See below for more information.

If you are a homeschooler or classroom teacher, student or independent learner, or anyone else who writes about math, now is the time to send in your favorite blog post for next week’s Math Teachers at Play (MTaP) math education blog carnival.

Have you noticed a new math blogger on your block that you’d like to introduce to the rest of us? Feel free to submit another blogger’s post in addition to your own. Beginning bloggers are often shy about sharing, but like all of us, they love finding new readers.

Tweet: Education Bloggers: Share Your Post! Math Teachers at Play blog carnival taking entries for March edition. http://ctt.ec/WxJ5Y+ Don’t procrastinate: The deadline for entries is this Friday, March 20. The carnival will be posted next week at Math Hombre.

Click to tweet about the carnival.
(No spam, I promise! You will have a chance to edit or cancel the tweet.)

Continue reading Education Bloggers: Share Your Post!

Math Teachers at Play #83 via CavMaths

The new Math Teachers at Play math education blog carnival is up for your browsing pleasure. Each month, we feature activities, lessons, and games about math topics from preschool through high school. Check it out!

[Photo by Steve Bowbrick. (CC BY 2.0 via Flickr)]

8010607157_7fe42cf461_z

Hello, and welcome to the 83rd Edition of the monthly blog carnival “Math(s) Teachers at Play”.

It is traditional to start with some number facts around the edition number, 83 is pretty cool, as it happens. Its prime, which sets it apart from all those lesser compound numbers. Not only that, its a safe prime, a Chen prime and even a Sophie Germain prime, you can’t get much cool than that can you? Well yes, yes you can, because 83 is also an Eisenstein prime!!!!

Those of you who work in base 36 will know it for its famous appearance in Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “83, or not 83, that is the question…..”

Click here to go read the whole post.


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.


Math Teachers at Play #82 via Mrs. E Teaches Math

MTaP 82

The January math education blog carnival is now posted for your browsing pleasure, featuring 23 playful ways to explore mathematics from preschool to high school:

Highlights include:

Young children making bar graphs.
A wide variety of math games.
Fractions on a clothesline.
Quadrilaterals on social media.
Non-transitive dice.
Writing in math class.
Negative number calculations made physical.
Inverse trig graphing.
Function operations.
And much more!

Click here to go read Math Teachers at Play #82.


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.


Math Teachers at Play #81 via Life Through A Mathematician’s Eyes

[Featured Image (above) by Math Giraffe, and Math Goggles image (right) by Moebius Noodles — two great posts from this month’s carnival.]

MathGoggles

Number sense, measurement, place value, functions, calculus for kids, Christmas math activities, art, and much more — check out the December math education blog carnival:

Math Teachers at Play (MTaP) Blog Carnival #81

Welcome to the 81st edition of Math Teachers at Play (MTaP) Blog Carnival. I am extremely exited to host this post in my favorite month of the year, December…

Understanding 81: An interesting fact is that 81 is a tribonacci number (sounds a lot like Fibonacci) – the sequence of tribonacci numbers start with 3 predetermined terms (0,0,1) and each term afterwards is the sum of the preceding 3 terms. Thus the sequence starts like this: 0,0,1,1,2,4,7,13,24,44,81,… (you can go further if you want to see how fast the numbers go).

Now the maths posts…

Click here to go read the whole carnival!


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.