My ebook Let’s Play Math has a new cover. Do you like it?
After wrestling with the files for a couple of months, I finally figured out how to add the toc.ncx navigation (the ebook magic that lets you skip ahead to the next chapter). While I was messing around, I added a few more references, expanded a couple of sections, and fixed all the typos that we’ve found so far.
I sent Amazon an email asking them to give everyone who already bought a copy the option to get the latest version. Unfortunately that’s not automatic, but if the powers that be decide that these changes were “major,” you should get an email telling you how to update.
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.
P.S.: If you host an blog carnival for teachers or homeschoolers, please email me a link.
“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.
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.
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!]
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.
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.
- Pre-historic and Ancient Times 1,000,000 B.C. – 500 A.D.
- Middle Ages 500 – 1400 A.D.
- Renaissance 1400 – 1550 A.D.
- Reformation 1517-1598 A.D.
- Baroque Era 1600-1700 A.D.
- Enlightenment 1700-1789 A.D.
- Age of Revolutions 1789-1848 A.D.
- Age of Liberalism 1848-1914 A.D.
- 20th Century … 1914-present A.D.
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.
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!
Have more fun on Let’s Play Math! blog:
[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.
Recent Math Blog Carnivals
Did you miss any of these recent blog carnivals? Delightful mathy browsing is only a click away…
- Mathematics and Multimedia #8
- Wild About Math Blogs 3/3
- Carnevale della Matematica #34
- Math Teachers at Play#35
For homeschooling or other educational carnivals, check out the Blog Parties for Teachers widget in my sidebar. Enjoy!
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:
So here is my retrospective look at the most popular blog posts of 2010, along with related blogging goals (or dreams?) for 2011.
[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:
- Cops and Robbers *coughcough*
- Negative Subtracting Problems
- Math games for learning Times
- Backwards 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…]
[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.
[“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.
[Photo by scui3asteveo.]
- Algebra: A Problem in Translation
- How to Solve Math Problems II
- Word Problems in Russia and America
- Reading to Learn Math
- Writing to Learn Math
- Writing to Learn Math II
- Elementary Problem Solving: The Tools
- The Case of the Mysterious Story Problem
- Story Problem Challenge Revisited
- How Can We Teach Problem Solving?
- Mathematics and Imagination
- Narnia Math: Elementary Problem Solving 4th Grade
- Elementary Problem Solving: Review
- Christmas in July Math Problem
- Solving Complex Story Problems II
- Ben Franklin Math: Elementary Problem Solving 3rd Grade
- Penguin Math: Elementary Problem Solving 2nd Grade
- Elementary Problem Solving: The Tools
- Solving Complex Story Problems
- Number Bonds = Better Understanding
Other Post in the Best of Blog Series
[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!
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!
[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.
Over at Walking Randomly, Mike has posted a great explanation with FAQs:
You can send in articles now for either carnival:
- the Carnival of Mathematics,
coming to The Endeavour this Friday,the latest edition is now posted here,
- or the Math Teachers at Play carnival, which will appear at mathrecreation on February 19th.
[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:
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.
The new Carnival of Mathematics is up and ready for browsing:
And if you’re a math blogger who would like to see your best work in print, check out Math Mama’s call for posts:
[Photo by nDevilTV.]
This month, our Math Teachers at Play blog carnival switched to a once-a-month schedule. We’ll publish the third Friday of each month — which is this week!
Teachers, homeschoolers, or anyone else who enjoys playing around with math: Wednesday night is the deadline to send in your thoughts, ideas, tips, or tricks about math using this handy submission form. Posts must be relevant to students or teachers of preK-12th grade mathematics. Old posts are welcome, as long as they haven’t been published in past editions of this carnival. Most bloggers have interesting gems buried in our archives. Why not dust one off and share it anew?
With the schedule change, I also need to rebuild the queue for hosting the Math Teachers at Play. If you blog about teaching or learning in grades K-12, and if you write about math at least occasionally, I would love to have you consider hosting the carnival sometime. Here’s how to sign up:
- Check out the schedule on the “future hosts” tab at the MTaP home page,
- pick a month that fits your schedule,
- and then let me know.
And don’t worry if you’ve never hosted a blog carnival before — it’s easy, fun, and great publicity for your blog! I’ll send you a detailed email of instructions to get you started.
[Graphite drawing by Niner.]
Niner (pronounced Neener), who takes the photos for my blog header — which reminds me, we’re about due for a new one of those… — has started a new blog. She calls it 19 & Still Alive, because “the world doesn’t end when you’re 16 if you don’t go to Prom or don’t get your driver’s license. (I never went to Prom, and I didn’t go through Driver’s ED until 17, but I’m alive, amazingly.)”
There won’t be any math there, or at least I don’t expect to see any; the blog will be mostly her rambling thoughts about whatever catches her interest. But she does have a wonderful graphite drawing based on the photo Masarwa man. On her blog, you can click the image to see him up close and personal. Wow!
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?
No, it’s not math, but it looks like a great way to kick-start Princess Kitten’s long-neglected blog. She sat down at the computer and browsed the links to other kids’ posts for over an hour last night, occasionally laughing out loud. Then she opened her Dashboard and started to type a response to the green assignment.
I’ll have to let her know there’s a new post up today. Check it out: Homeschool Kids Write
Maybe I can even get her to send something in to the next Homeschool Kids Blog Carnival. It’s worth a try…
Unfortunately, Homeschool Kids Write has disappeared from the web. The Wayback Machine link gives a taste of what the site was like, but It’s just not the same without the Mr. Linky connections to all the children’s writings.
My baby is growing up…
In case you’ve been wondering, my old computer finally bit the dust a couple of months ago. I’ve been living out of a flash drive, begging time on my kids’ computers between “homework” sessions — do you know how hard it is to drag a teenage girl away from Facebook? — and barely keeping up with email.
But I do have some blackboard quotes saved up from this semester and a few drafts on the back burner. I will get back to blogging someday, I promise!
[Photo by PhillipC.]
I love quotations, don’t you? Everything I might possibly want to say, someone else has already said it better than I ever could. Now I’ve put together all of my blackboard quotes from the homeschool co-op classes, as well as a few longer quotations I used in past blog posts, and archived them in one convenient place.
I hope you have as much fun reading the quotes as I have had collecting them.