In addition to the 115 puzzle patterns (as of this writing), the site features a Gallery page of patterns submitted by students. And under the “Teachers” tab, Fawn shares a form to guide students in thinking their way through to the algebraic formula for a pattern.
How can you use these patterns to develop algebraic thinking with younger students? Mike Lawler and sons demonstrate Pattern #1 in the YouTube video below.
I’ve dipped my toes in Twitter lately (as part of the Explore #MTBoS program) and been swept up in a crashing tsunami of information. There’s no way to keep up with it all, but I’ll let the tide wash over me and enjoy the tidbits I happen to notice as they float by. For instance, yesterday I discovered a writer who offers tip on writing about injuries and was able to get some great advice for Kitten’s sequel to her first novel.
Hooray for September 25th — it’s Math Storytelling Day!
Celebrate Math Storytelling Day by making up and sharing math stories. Everyone loves a story, so this is a great way to motivate your children to play around with math. What might a math story involve? Patterns, logic, history, puzzles, relationships, fictional characters, … and yes, even numbers.
Welcome to the Math Teachers At Play blog carnival — which is not just for math teachers! If you like to learn new things and play around with ideas, you are sure to find something of interest.
By tradition, we start the carnival with a couple of puzzles in honor of our 66th edition.
Let the mathematical fun begin!
Our first puzzle is based on one of my favorite playsheets from the Miquon Math workbook series. Fill each shape with an expression that equals the target number. Can you make some cool, creative math?
Click the image to download the pdf playsheet set: one page has the target number 66, and a second page is blank so you can set your own target number.
Both of my homeschool math circles (one with preschool-1st grade, and one with teens) thoroughly enjoyed the month-long problem solving course this summer, and we expect the new one to be just as much fun. Will you join us?
As with most of the Moebius Noodles courses, Maria and Yelena have adapted the activities for all ages from toddlers to adults. Where young ones go on a scavenger hunt for pretty snowflakes and cool truck wheels, older kids build bridges from multiplication to symmetry, spatial transformations, and proportions.
Visit the registration page to sign up no later than September 8. The main course activities will happen September 9th through 22nd. Expect to spend about two hours a week.
It reminds me of string art designs, but the app makes it easy to vary the pattern and see what happens.
What do your students notice about the patterns?
What questions can they ask?
I liked the way the app uses “minutes” as the unit that describes the star you want the program to draw. That makes it easier (for me, at least) to notice and understand the patterns, since minutes are a more familiar and intuitive unit than degrees, let alone radians.
Do you enjoy math? I hope so! If not, browsing this post just may change your mind. Welcome to the Math Teachers At Play blog carnival — a smorgasbord of ideas for learning, teaching, and playing around with math from preschool to pre-college.
Let the mathematical fun begin!
By tradition, we start the carnival with a puzzle in honor of our 62nd edition:
How many of each shape does it take to make a rhombicosidodecahedron?
Click for template.
My math club students had fun with a Polyhedra Construction Kit. Here’s how to make your own:
Collect a bunch of empty cereal boxes. Cut the boxes open to make big sheets of cardboard.
Print out the template page (→) and laminate. Cut out each polygon shape, being sure to include the tabs on the sides.
Turn your cardboard brown-side-up and trace around the templates, making several copies of each polygon. I recommend 20 each of the pentagon and hexagon, 40 each of the triangle and square.
Draw the dark outline of each polygon with a ballpoint pen, pressing hard to score the cardboard so the tabs will bend easily.
Cut out the shapes, being careful around the tabs.
Use small rubber bands to connect the tabs. Each rubber band will hold two tabs together, forming one edge of a polyhedron.
So, for instance, it takes six squares and twelve rubber bands to make a cube. How many different polyhedra (plural of polyhedron) will you make?
Can you build a rhombicosidodecahedron?
And now, on to the main attraction: the 62 blog posts. Many of the following articles were submitted by their authors; others were drawn from the immense backlog in my blog reader. If you’d like to skip directly to your area of interest, here’s a quick Table of Contents:
Homeschoolers, after-schoolers, unschoolers, or anyone else: if you’re a parent with kids at home, you need this book. If you work with children in any way (grandparent, aunt/uncle, teacher, child care, baby sitter, etc.) you need this book. Or if you hated math in school and never understood how anyone could enjoy it, you need this book!
Moebius Noodles is a travel guide to the Math Universe for adventurous families (and it has lots of beautiful pictures, too!) featuring games and activities that draw out the rich, mathematical properties of everyday objects in ways accessible to parents and children:
A snowflake is an example of a fractal and an invitation to explore symmetry.
Cookies offer combinatorics and calculus games.
Paint chips come in beautiful gradients, and floor tiles form tessellations.
It’s time to register for World Maths Day, which will take place on March 6, 2013. Last year, more than five million students from all around the world combined to correctly answer nearly 500 million math problems.
Would you like to help break the record this year? Register now so you can practice in advance!
About World Maths Day
Play with students from schools all around the world. Individuals and homeschoolers are welcome, too.
The competition is designed for ages 4-18 and all ability levels. Teachers, parents and media can also register and play.
It’s simple to register and participate. Start practicing as soon as you register.
Welcome to the Math Teachers At Play blog carnival — a smorgasbord of ideas for learning, teaching, and playing around with math from preschool to pre-college. If you like to learn new things and play around with ideas, you are sure to find something of interest.
Let the mathematical fun begin…
By tradition, we start the carnival with a pair of puzzles in honor of our 58th edition. Click to download the pdf:
A Smith number is an integer the sum of whose digits is equal to the sum of the digits in its prime factorization.
Got that? Well, 58 will help us to get a better grasp on that definition. Observe:
58 = 2 × 29
5 + 8 = 13
2 + 2 + 9 = 13
And that’s all there is to it! I suppose we might say that 58′s last name is Smith. [Nah! Better not.]
What is the only Smith number that’s less than 10?
There are four more two-digit Smith numbers. Can you find them?
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 Google Reader. Enjoy!
Sunday, October 21, is the worldwide hexaflexagon party in honor of Martin Gardner’s birthday. Gardner’s article about hexaflexagons launched his career as a recreational math guru who inspired people all around the world to love math.
Welcome to the Math Teachers At Play blog carnival — which is not just for math teachers! We have games, lessons, and learning activities from preschool math to calculus. If you like to learn new things and play around with mathematical ideas, you are sure to find something of interest.
Scattered between all the math blog links, I’ve included highlights from the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice, which describe the types of expertise that teachers at all levels — whether in traditional, experimental, or home schools — should seek to develop in their math students.
Let the mathematical fun begin…
TRY THESE PUZZLES
By tradition, we start the carnival with a couple of puzzles in honor of our 52nd edition. Since there are 52 playing cards in a standard deck, I chose two card puzzles from the Maths Is Fun Card Puzzles page:
A blind-folded man is handed a deck of 52 cards and told that exactly 10 of these cards are facing up. How can he divide the cards into two piles (which may be of different sizes) with each pile having the same number of cards facing up?
What is the smallest number of cards you must take from a 52-card deck to be guaranteed at least one four-of-a-kind?
The answers are at Maths Is Fun, but don’t look there. Having someone give you the answer is no fun at all!
My favorite playful math lessons rely on adult/child conversation — a proven method for increasing a child’s reasoning skills. What better way could there be to do math than snuggled up on a couch with your little one, or side by side at the sink while your middle-school student helps you wash the dishes, or passing the time on a car ride into town?
As soon as your little ones can count past five, start giving them simple, oral story problems to solve: “If you have a cookie and I give you two more cookies, how many cookies will you have then?”
The fastest way to a child’s mind is through the taste buds. Children can easily visualize their favorite foods, so we use mainly edible stories at first. Then we expand our range, adding stories about other familiar things: toys, pets, trains.
Our homeschool co-op held an end-of-semester assembly. Each class was supposed to demonstrate something they had learned. I planned to set up a static display showing some of our projects, like the fractal pop-up card and the game of Nim, but the students voted to do a skit based on the logic puzzles of Raymond Smullyan.
We had a small class (only four students), but you can easily divide up the lines make room for more players. We created signs from half-sheets of poster board with each native’s line on front and whether she was a knight or knave on the flip side. In the course of a skit, there isn’t enough time to really think through the puzzles, so the audience had to vote based on first impressions — which gave us a fair showing of all opinions on each puzzle.
Have you ever wondered why so many plants grow in Fibonacci Numbers? Vi Hart offers a great explanation (with hands-on activities) in these three videos — and she introduces a new species called the slugcat, which my daughter thinks is adorable.
Welcome to the Math Teachers At Play blog carnival — which is not just for math teachers! Here is a smorgasbord of ideas for learning, teaching, and playing around with math from preschool to pre-college. Some articles were submitted by their authors, others were drawn from the immense backlog in my blog reader. If you like to learn new things, you are sure to find something of interest.
Send in your submission for the Math Teachers at Play blog carnival by Wednesday night. The blog carnival website has been a little funky (though several posts have come through), so your best option is to email Roman directly.
These advent calendars feature a new math puzzle or game for each day of December until Christmas. Many of the activities are designed to be done in a group, but they work fine for home school families who play with math together. Enjoy!
Credit card numbers. Phone numbers. Driver’s license numbers. Social Security numbers. Birthdays. These are just a few of the many numbers you deal with every day — numbers that often need to be memorized for quick and easy recall.
And it turns out that there are fun and amazingly effective ways to memorize large numbers and long strings of digits — ways that can not only make everyday life easier but that can be used to perform larger calculations that were previously beyond your mental capacity.
Watch this free video lecture to discover just how easy—and fun—memorizing numbers can be!
— Secrets of Mental Math: Free Video Lecture on How to Memorize Numbers
How to Homeschool High School
With four out of my five students now graduated, I’ve experimented with a lot of high school options. By far my favorite resource — for the kids and for my own continuing education — has been The Great Courses (formerly The Teaching Company). They offer a wide variety of courses, such as:
One warning about The Great Courses: Unless you are truly desperate for a course, never pay full price. All of their courses go on sale at least once a year, and the discounts are well worth the wait. Many libraries carry these courses, however, so if you find one you like but don’t want to buy, you may be able to get it through inter-library loan.
All U.S. schools and students (K-12, including homeschoolers) are invited to register now for the American Math Challenge. Online practice time starts Monday, October 3, and the competition itself is October 12-13.
During the warm-up practice time (Oct. 3-11), students can practice all the math concepts that will be tested during the competition. On the first day of the competition (Oct. 12), students can earn up to 300 points by proving their competency in several areas of math. On the second day, students will race against each other to see how many math problems they can answer.
If your students enjoy interactive math programs and thrive on competition, be sure to take advantage of this opportunity. Register now!